SLOVAKIA IS LAUNCHING A VAT LOTTERY

Collect receipts and win

TO SOLVE the widespread problem of tax evasion in Slovakia, particularly with regard to value added tax (VAT), Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government has adopted an unorthodox solution: a lottery. As of September 1, Slovaks are encouraged to collect retail receipts from their purchases in shops, restaurants and services, and enter them into a national lottery, with the possibility of winning thousands of euros.

Time to start collecting receipts.Time to start collecting receipts. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

TO SOLVE the widespread problem of tax evasion in Slovakia, particularly with regard to value added tax (VAT), Prime Minister Robert Fico’s government has adopted an unorthodox solution: a lottery. As of September 1, Slovaks are encouraged to collect retail receipts from their purchases in shops, restaurants and services, and enter them into a national lottery, with the possibility of winning thousands of euros.

“We perceive the receipt lottery as a chance [to] bring education instead of repression,” Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said in late August when introducing the national retail receipt lottery. “Paying or dodging taxes is a reflection of the morals of the whole society and this is why the national receipt lottery has a huge educational potential.”

The National Receipt Lottery, as the VAT lottery has been officially named, will start on September 16, when people will be able to enter valid retail receipts for purchases of at least €1 and not older than two months. The receipts must be issued after September 1.

There will be several ways to participate in the lottery. ŠEVT, an office supplies retailer, will enter receipts automatically, whereas customers will have to register receipts from other retailers and service providers via the internet, mobile phones or at booths of the national lottery company, Tipos, which will oversee the lottery. Later, other retailers may participate in automatic enrolment.

While registration via the internet will be free, the registration of a receipt via Tipos will cost €0.2. Registration via applications for smart phones will be free as well. Those registering via short messages sent by mobile phones will pay only for sending the SMS.

The first drawing will take place on September 30 and Tipos will reveal the winning receipts on October 2.

Each receipt entered will actually have two chances to win. The first drawing will take place every 14 days with the winning sums ranging from €10,000 for first prize down to €100 for the 10th. In total, €20,000 in prizes can be won in one drawing. The socalled second chance drawing will occur every 28 days, with eight winners drawn, one from each of Slovakia’s regions. Winners will receive a
cash prize of €10,000 or goods worth the same value. Lottery winnings will be free from taxation, according to the lottery website.

“We are trying to find partners for this national lottery,” said Ladislav Kriška, general director of Tipos, as cited by the TASR newswire, adding that during the first month of the lottery those enrolled will have a chance to win eight cars.

In total, Tipos will hand down winnings totalling €20,000 twice per month and another €80,000 once per month.

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