Czech Minister of Finance Proposes Tax Cuts for Lottery Companies and Increased VAT on Water and Sewage

According to reports from Czech Television, the Czech Minister of Finance, Zbyněk Stanjura, has proposed tax cuts for lottery companies. The proposal includes a drop in tax rates from 35% to 25% for land-based lottery operations and 30% for online lotteries. The government is also considering raising taxes in other areas, such as value-added tax (VAT) on water, sewage, and beer.

The proposed tax cut for lottery companies has drawn criticism from the opposition, who have called it “outrageous.” The proposal is also unlikely to gain support from coalition partners. However, the Ministry of Finance also considers increasing taxes on certain goods and services.

One such proposal is to merge the current 10% and 15% reduced VAT rates into a new 14% rate while also moving some items, such as accommodation services, water and sewage, heating, draft beer, shoe repairs, leather goods, and bicycles, into the standard 21% VAT rate. This move could increase state revenue by approximately CZK 24 billion.

The Ministry of Finance has not yet provided further details on the proposed changes to the tax treatment of lotteries. However, a spokesperson for the Ministry said that the proposed changes were based on the recommendations of addiction experts and that they reflect the social harm and risk of different types of gambling. The spokesperson added that the higher risk of internet-based gambling and certain kinds of games with fast gaming cycles is also a factor in the proposed changes.

It is worth noting that a similar proposal to cut lottery taxes was put forward by the leader of the ODS parliamentary group, Marek Benda, last year. Benda proposed a reduction in lottery tax from 35% to 23%, which he planned to include in a law on extraordinary profits tax. However, this proposal did not gain sufficient support to become law.