Three secondary ticket sites are under fire from the British government once again, this time for paying a questionably low amount in yearly corporation taxes.
According to The Sun, VGL Services, the company that operates Viagogo in the UK, paid just £2,361 (about $3,100) last year despite turning over £5.2 million (about $6.8 million) in profit. Seatwave and Get Me In parent company Ticketmaster said: “Our UK resale businesses do not make a profit, which is why they are not required to pay tax.”
Experts believe the secondary ticket market in the UK is worth at least £1 billion. The combined profits of Viagogo, Seatwave, and Get Me In alone in the past year total over £24 million.
MP Sharon Hodgson, co-chair of the parliamentary committee on Ticket Abuse, is looking to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to crack down on this tax discrepancy. HMRC is the non-ministerial department of the UK government responsible for the collection of taxes.
“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”, Hodgson said.
Viagogo has several offices and a growing staff in the UK but is headquartered in Switzerland. At home, the company is facing the Federal Court for claims of deception and misleading customers by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and was recently awarded a Worst Product/Service of 2017 Award for being “about as reliable as a scalper in a back alley.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to tackle secondary ticket companies; they are now at the center of an inquiry by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.