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A player wins Swedish online poker tax ruling

December 3, 2008 2008

A ruling has gone in Swedish poker player’s favour, freeing him from paying taxes on a portion of his online poker winnings. The verdict came against the Swedish tax agency Skatteverket.

The county administrative court (Länsrätten) in Östergoötland ruled that Sargon Rüya did not have to pay Swedish taxes on the 650,000 kronor ($80,900) he won playing online poker on a site based in the Isle of Man, reports the Östgöta Correspondenten newspaper. It was reported that Rüya was still liable for paying taxes on winnings earned while playing on a site based in Monaco. The difference in tax treatment stems from European Union rules stipulating that winnings from games such as poker are free from taxes within the EU.

According to the newspaper, the Swedish tax authority Skatteverket had originally demanded that Sargon Rüya pay tax on his winnings because the Isle of Man is not part of the EU but Rüya was able to prove the company was operated by a Cypriot parent and the earnings were therefore from within the EU.

For its part, the Court went a step further and said that Skatteverket could not place the burden of proof of where foreign companies operations are based on an individual in order to collect tax.

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