Friday, October 23, 2009

Pro athletes want to protect their tax breaks. Duh.

Marc explains the news from France.

Read the story (among others) HERE.

A few years ago, the French politico-athletic-bizness establishment was in a tizzy because the French football (soccer) clubs couldn't keep up with their foreign competitors during bidding wars. No French team would be able to attact top talent, and French pro teams would be relegated to the bottom of the rankings. An affront to the honor of France!

The solution, as is typical in France, was a tax break. In fact, two tax breaks. The first one actually seems quite reasonable: it allows certain professions to average out their income over several years for the purpose of income tax. For professions with irregular incomes, this seems eminently reasonable, as exceptionally high income one year may put you in a higher tax bracket that doesn't correspond to your real long-term financial status.

The second was more clever. It allows 30% of players' salaries to be considered as payment of "image rights", which are not subject to payroll taxes. Payroll taxes are equivalent to more than 50% of take-home pay, so by removing 30% of pay from the tax base for payroll taxes, pro clubs saved a great deal of money, and players had more cash in hand.

Now, the country is in debt (even more than usual), and it's time to create new taxes (or new taxes on taxes, a French specialty), or to remove or limit tax breaks. Well, if you listen to the clubs and the French Football Federation (FFF, for Fuck, Fuck, Fuck), eliminating these tax breaks means the end of professional football in France.

No more OM? No more PSG? Bon débarras !

1 comment:

Schuyler =^oo^= said...

Hi Marc - MM recommended I read this, glad to find you!