De Croo wants the government to raise 43 million euros from professional football

The federal government gets 43 million euros in savings from professional footballers. At least 30 million of this comes from higher Social Security contributions, which will primarily be paid by those with higher incomes. The remaining amount (13 million euros) comes from brokers. From now on, they may contribute no more than 3 percent of a player’s wages as professional expenses.

Federal negotiators finally reached an agreement last night on the tax and social benefits for professional football players and professional clubs. The intention is to cut €43m in benefits (mainly) for professional footballers.

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According to MR Chairman Georges-Louis Bochese, higher-income earners will have to gradually make more social contributions. The social security contribution for professional footballers is now calculated on a fixed theoretical wage of €2474.22 per month (if they earn more than this amount). Whether the footballer earns that amount or 250,000 euros, he always sees only 942 euros flowing into Social Security.

In addition, tax agreements relating to withholding tax favorable to professional clubs are also more stringently defined. Clubs now do not have to remit the 80 per cent withholding tax, but can use it to fund youth employment. But some clubs use part of that to pay players. A tighter control of this, together with an increase in the social security contribution, will bring in €30 million.

The government wants to get thirteen million euros from players’ agents. Henceforth, they must limit their professional expenses deduction to 3 per cent, as stipulated by FIFA. It’s unclear if that will actually result in 13 million. Other tax measures may have to be taken for this.

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“Excesses must go”

“We are reforming tax benefits for professional athletes,” says Finance Minister Vincent van Bettieghem (CD&V). “Excesses have to come out. That is why we will ensure that the strongest shoulders in particular have to carry more loads. For example, we want to spare amateur and semi-professional clubs so that we can support youth sports there as well.

The Professional League takes note of government communications and decisions. “The decisions still need to be further elaborated, so it is too early to comment on the substance. In recent months, the PFL has had constructive communication with policy and all stakeholders and would like to continue this in further detail, paying particular attention to the date of entry into force, the measures Transition, the potential impact on the work and training of young people, and certainly also other professional sports, which should not experience difficulties.

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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