Turkey is Europe's football tax haven

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 16.06.2015 23:58
Updated 17.06.2015 00:08
Turkey is Europe's football tax haven

Turkey levies a 15 percent tax on footballers playing in the Spor Toto Super League and collects the second-lowest tax from footballers among European countries

According to the Income Tax Law currently in force, footballers playing in the Super League pay a 15 percent tax while those playing in lower league clubs pay 10 percent and those playing in other clubs pay 5 percent. The tax rate imposed on football managers is 35 percent.

Even though tax rates imposed on footballers are planned to increase with the new Income Tax Law, Turkey levies the second-lowest tax on footballers in Europe along with Lithuania after Bulgaria, which levies a 10 percent tax.

The huge difference between taxes imposed on the income of athletes in Turkey, developed countries and Western countries continues to draw attention. Sweden is the country that imposes the highest tax on footballers in Europe at 56.9 percent, followed Portugal, Denmark and Belgium with 56.5 percent, 55.6 percent and 53.7 percent, respectively.

Whereas professional footballers pay 45 percent of their income as tax in the U.K., where the heart of European football beats, footballers pay a 47.5 percent tax in Germany, 47.9 percent in Italy and 50.3 percent in France.

The practice of imposing a 15 percent tax rate on footballers without taking into account their millions of dollars of income will end with the new Income Tax Law. Instead, a progressive tax system will be applied and they will pay taxes in accordance with their taxable income.

According to current regulations, a 15 percent cut on the payments given to footballers is thought to be enough. However, if the proposed Income Tax Law is passed and implemented without any change, cuts made on payments will increase. Additionally, if income exceeds a certain amount, it will be necessary to file an income tax return and pay additional taxes.

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