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IRIS 2017-8:1/30

Poland

Broadcaster TVN disputes tax on sale of its DTH platform

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Tobias Raab

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

Broadcaster TVN has announced plans to take legal action to recover taxes that it was forced to pay in Poland in relation to the sale of its DTH platform.

A DTH (‘direct-to-home’) platform is a method of receiving satellite television and was used by TVN to broadcast various channels until it sold its platform in 2012. TVN paid PLN 110 million (around EUR 26 million) in tax, under protest. At the same time, both TVN and Scripps Networks Interactive, which had since acquired TVN, said that they “strongly disagreed” with the decision of the tax authority concerned and would file an appeal with the Administrative Court, asking it to examine the lawfulness of the tax.

Regarding the sale of the DTH platform, TVN also explained that, before completing the transaction, it had asked the Polish Ministry of Finance about its current interpretation and application of the relevant tax legislation in order to ensure that the sale was lawful. It had fully complied with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Finance. It had also sought and followed the advice of major international tax and accounting firms relating to the sale. Explaining the reasons for its intended legal action, TVN added that the tax office had audited the transaction in 2013 and had found no infringements or irregularities whatsoever. Convinced that it had acted lawfully and met its information obligations transparently and accurately when selling the platform, the broadcaster was confident that its appeal would be successful.