Aspire Global settles tax dispute in Israel

2 January 2020

Aspire Global Group is to pay more than €13m (£11.0m/$14.6m) in retroactive tax in Israel after reaching an agreement with the country’s authorities.

The igaming services provider said in a statement that it has agreed to pay a total of €13.7m for the 11 fiscal years 2008-18. The payment to the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) relates to the previously disclosed tax audit related to management and control jurisdiction, permanent establishment and transfer pricing among the group entities.

Aspire said the resolution brings an end to all related investigations into the company in Israel. It added that it has not been charged any penalties and that the settlement covers the entirety of the group’s activity in Israel. The audit was disclosed in Aspire’s 2018 annual report.

Aspire said this additional tax charge will be reflected as an exceptional item in the group’s accounts for 2019 and the payment is expected to be made in the next couple of days.

The group said in a statement: “The settlement with the ITA was actively chosen over a lengthy period of uncertainty. The group’s financials remain strong despite the agreement and per 30 September, cash amounted to €43.1m.”

Aspire is headquartered in Malta and trades on the Stockholm Nasdaq but has an office in Israel and has strong links to the country.

It recently entered the US market through its subsidiary game aggregator Pariplay, which it purchased for €13.1m in October.

In 2019 it was fined by the Swedish authorities for breaching self-exclusion regulations in the country. Its AG Communications subsidiary runs a range of white label brands including Karamba.com, hopa.com and mrplay.com.

Image: Zachi Evenor