Maltese casino company Lottoland Limited has been going through a tough phase after the German Tax authority has filed a suit against them for owing €10 million in VAT to the German authority. The proceedings were initiated by the Maltese tax commissioner in the First Hall of the Civil Court in Malta based on a 2010 EU directive issued by Berlin. According to the EU directive, any member state can ask for mutual assistance for the recovery of claims related to taxes and other duties in other member states.
Lottoland Limited is a leading privately owned lotto betting company founded in 2013 in Gibraltar. Since its inception, Lottoland has paid over a total of €1 billion in prizes to winners all over the world. It also holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest online gambling payout company in the world. Lottoland is registered in Malta, and therefore, the Maltese laws apply to them in case of any discrepancies. Thus, the German tax authorities had no power to challenge the company directly and had to do the proceedings via the Maltese tax authorities.
As per the EU directive, if such a request is received from any member state, it is dealt with as the state’s own civil debt, and therefore, in this case, the court (Mr. Justice Grazio Mercieca) gave a competent authority to the Maltese government to collect the debt from Lottoland on behalf of the Germany tax department. Accordingly, the Maltese authorities filed a suit against Lottoland Limited on behalf of the German Tax authority over a huge VAT of over €10 million due to them (Germany).
During the proceedings, the company denied all the allegations against them and also claimed to not owe any money to the German tax departments. However, the court ruled out all claims based on the documents submitted by the Maltese and the German tax authorities which went in favor of the suit filed by them against Lottoland.