Industry News

MPs’ fury over UK ticket resale giants’ tax affairs – report

The UK’s three biggest ticket reselling sites paid less than £2,500 ($3,300/€2,800) in combined corporation tax despite sales totalling £24m, according to a report in the Sun newspaper. 

Viagogo was found to have paid just £2,300 on sales of £5.2m, while Ticketmaster’s Seatwave and Get Me In paid nothing in corporation tax.

The minimal tax return led to MPs calling for a clamp down on the ticket resale market.

While Viagogo did not respond to the Sun, Ticketmaster said: “Our UK resale businesses do not make a profit, which is why they are not required to pay tax.”

Viagogo is based in Switzerland, but has offices in the UK that expanded last year from 24 to 32 employees.

MP Sharon Hodgson, co-chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Ticket Abuse, called on HMRC to clamp down.

She said: “It is shocking that companies who are making such significant profits by imposing huge fees on fans to buy tickets appear to be getting away with paying so little, if any, tax here in the UK.”

According to the Sun, experts have pegged the secondary market in the UK to be worth £1bn. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will take down secondary ticketing firms that are so often inflating ticket prices.

Hodgson and fellow MP Nigel Adams were threatened with arrest as they attempted to confront Viagogo executives at the company’s London office earlier this year.

Viagogo paid £26,000 tax in the UK in 2015 on turnover of almost £5m, according to figures revealed earlier this year by the Sun.

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