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NEWS 23 November 2018

Irish Finance Minister to consider gross profit tax proposals

By Tim Poole

Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is exploring alternatives to the recently proposed doubling of betting tax from 1% to 2%.

In October, Donohoe announced the plans as part of his 2019 Budget, forecasting an additional €40m ($45.5m) in revenue.

But, in November, the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) commissioned a report arguing the new increase could actually land the government a €35m loss.

IBA Chairperson Sharon Byrne was one of the first to express concern at the 2019 Budget, telling Gambling Insider in October most independent shops would close if the new tax went ahead as planned.

As such, several Irish politicians have backed an alternative measure in the past week that would tax gross profit instead of turnover.

After hearing suggestions on the matter, Donohoe has now promised to re-evaluate his stance, according to the Times.

However, he did express frustration at the late nature of the proposed amendments: "I will make the point that when we engaged with the sector on this model the last time there was not complete support for it.

"We would not be in the situation of trying to figure out how to broaden our tax base if we were not debating the levy now being introduced in the absence of agreement on how else this could be done."

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