Swedish tax authority cracking down on online poker winnings

Posted by Gerry Poltorak on Oct 18, 2014 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

swedishSweden’s online poker players and online gamblers may be getting an unwanted visit from the country’s tax authority, Skatteverket, as they crack down on tax evaders.

Skatteverket has been investigating online gambling winnings for at least a decade, but the Swedish version of the IRS has claimed a major breakthrough in their investigations over the past couple years.

According to several Swedish newspapers, Skatteverket is gathering players’ online screen names and sending them off to known international tax havens where they are hoping local authorities can link the screen name to the real names of individuals living in Sweden, and the tax authority is already claiming success on this front.

This is all the more reason to stick to playing at only EU casinos online, since the country doesn’t tax winnings from online poker sites or online casinos in located EU member countries. Of course the games are not as good at these sites, which is why many Swedish players continue to play at non-EU sites. Sweden does tax winnings at non-EU online casinos and poker rooms, and the tax is quite steep – 30% of all pots won!

This is not the first time the Swedish tax authority has gone public with their investigation into online poker players. Back in 2011 Viktor Blom’s name surfaced as a potential target, but nothing seems to have come from that investigation.

Several other high-profile winning online poker players have moved out of the country, preferring to reside in locales with less strict tax laws.

Some 50 players are being targeted in this probe, and the authorities are hoping to net an eye-popping €27.5 million.

So if you live in Sweden and frequent online poker sites outside of the EU, look out, the tax man might be coming for you. Although, some see it as little more than a scare tactic being employed by Skatteverket to get players to declare their gambling winnings.

Whatever the motiveation, if you’ve ever wondered why Swedish poker players are often anonymous and tightlipped when it comes to their identities, you now have your answer.



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