The Netherlands tax authority has finally conceded defeat in a legal battle over the taxation of PokerStars.eu Dutch players’ earnings.
PokerStars launched its Malta-licensed dot EU site in February 2012, first migrating its Sweden and Finland players followed by other European countries.
Under EU law, poker players residing in the Netherlands are taxed on their winnings when using the services of an operator established outside the EU. The Netherlands’ Belastingdienst tax authority felt that since PokerStars.eu is registered by PokerStars.com, which is licensed in the Isle of Man (not part of EU), Dutch players would therefore be subject to taxes.
PokerStars player Freerk Post and his legal firm Taxwise advocaten & Belastingadviseurs filed suit against Belastingdienst last year and argued that the dot-EU site operates under a license from Malta (part of the EU), thus no taxes should be levied on earnings from the online poker room.
In November 2015, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal agreed with Post but the tax authority appealed the decision, which Dutch tax advisor Jurjen van Daal expected to be a one- to two-year process.
“An appeal would be annoying because of the uncertainty for players during the time declarations and objections will be continued to be made,” van Daal told PokerNews.
On February 3, Belastingdienst withdrew its appeal. Therefore the decision that PokerStars.eu is established within the EU stands.
PokerStars, which also contributed to the legal effort in the case, said it welcomed the decision to withdraw the appeal but warned Dutch players that the ruling only applies to PokerStars.eu and may not apply to other international operators.
“PokerStars is pleased that the Belastingdienst has withdrawn its appeal against the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruling that a (Dutch) player can play on PokerStars [EU site] without paying tax on winnings,” the company told PokerNews. “This confirmation is great news for affected players who can play on PokerStars with the knowledge that the tax status of PokerStars [EU site] has been confirmed.”