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Football clubs not exempt from France's new 75% tax

France’s new 75% tax rate on salaries above €1 million will apply to all companies, officials said Tuesday, dispelling rumours that football clubs might be exempt. The tax was revised last week to apply directly to firms rather than individuals.

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France’s revamped 75-percent supertax on salaries above 1 million euros will apply to all companies, an official in the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday, rejecting suggestions that soccer clubs would be exempt.

President Francois Hollande last week presented a revised version of the tax that applies directly to firms paying out the highest salaries, after the Constitutional Court rejected an initial plan to impose the levy on the individuals themselves.

Noel le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, said on Monday those soccer clubs employing players on million-euro salaries would be exempt from the tax because it would only apply to businesses with more than 5,000 workers.

“The new measure will concern all companies paying out salaries above 1 million euros,” the official said, adding that no company would be exempt regardless of size.

There has been outcry over the tax, which Hollande first unveiled in last year’s presidential campaign, with those in the sports, entertainment and finance sectors arguing it would hurt their ability to recruit top-notch talent from around the world.

Les Echos business daily reported, citing finance minister sources, that the tax could raise 500 million euros per year, double the previous version, and apply to just under 1,000 people versus 1,500 for the initial one.

Wealthy clubs such as Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) may be able to keep paying top salaries for stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but many smaller clubs paying one or two stars above 1 million are seen struggling with the higher tax bill.

Le Graet told French media that Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault had told him the revised supertax would only hit the category of large companies, excluding soccer clubs which are generally classed among small and medium-sized companies.

However, the official said that Le Graet and Ayrault had not spoken since December, when the government was still discussing how to rejig its initial tax following the Court’s rejection.

(REUTERS)

 

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