The tax deductions for sports clubs will be set at €4 million from 1 January. This was stated in the legislative texts of Finance Minister Vincent van Bettieghem (CD&V). But MR and Open VLD argue there is a deal.
It was already known that the De Croo government would seriously reduce RSZ’s rebates to players’ wages. Following the budget agreement, Minister Frank Vandenbroek (Forweet) announced that he would remove the account cap and replace it with a sports bonus. For example, all athletes will enjoy the same advantage of RSZ, which means that those with particularly high incomes will lose. The operation will generate 30 million euros.
The dots and commas were not yet known about Finance Minister Vincent van Bettieghem’s financial part (CD&V). Today, sports clubs only have to pay 20 percent of withholding tax to the tax authorities. Clubs were allowed to freely spend three-quarters of the tax exemption. Only the fourth had to go to the youth academy. In practice, it was often used by professional football clubs to pay the best young players in the first team.
We will not agree to a scheme that results in more than 10 million agreed.
That arrangement will disappear from next year, according to a draft code of the program that De Morgen is reporting on. It will be replaced by stricter rules in line with European rules on state aid, which will also include a cap. The bill states that sports clubs can still enjoy a tax deduction of a maximum of 4 million euros. They can spend a maximum of 2 million on youth education and another 2 million on infrastructure.
This amendment to the law affects six major clubs, according to De Morgen’s calculations. RSC Anderlecht will have to waive €11 million, Club Brugge 8 million, Standard 6 million, AA Gent and Racing Genk 5 million and Antwerp 2 million. The other twelve clubs in the top tier will not be affected, because the tax deduction they have is less than 4 million.
Bushes says no
Van Bettiegm’s legal texts were first discussed in the Primary Cabinet on Friday before the fall recess and were passed there as well. Representatives of Vivaldi’s seven parties then agreed to conduct an impact analysis and seek advice from the State Council. Once they attend, a second meeting will follow.
But MR chairman Jorge-Louis Bochese, who has positioned himself as a major lobbyist at major clubs in recent months, is skeptical that the matter is on the table. After the first reading in the primary cabinet, it was agreed that this still needs to be negotiated. There is no political agreement on this and therefore it will not be achieved. Open VLD supports the Bouchez lecture. In the budget discussions, it was agreed that the reform of the tax system could generate a maximum of 10 million euros. If De Morgen’s calculations are correct, the new Van Peteghem scheme would cost €27 million. “We will not agree to a scheme that achieves more than 10 million,” said CEO Egbert Laschert de Tejd.
According to their coalition partner Joris Vandenbroek of Vorot, the basic texts have already been approved by the Liberal ministers and there is little to be done other than allowing the arrangement to be implemented. “The current tax system does not comply with the European rules for state aid and therefore must be modified.”
Members of the opposition N-VA party jumped eagerly at the Twitter brawl between Bushes and Vandenbrooke on Wednesday morning. It shows how difficult the tax files in particular are still in Vivaldi’s coalition.
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