Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Soccer Tax Story

It was an interesting week to watch tax news and German journalists.  Over the past two weeks,  Uli Hoeneß, the director of the soccer club in Bavaria got himself into the tax news.  Basically, it's come out that Uli found various ways to avoid taxes.....some legal....some potentially illegal....and some some of a ethical nature that draws discussion.

As this came out....the journalists came to discuss how some or potentially all of the soccer clubs might be involved in the mess, and how players may have various deals rigged up to avoid German taxes.

The shock factor?  I'd say the public is mostly in a mild interest situation.  They already know that tens of thousands of Germans avoid taxes by legal and illegal means.  They know most millionaires  or wannabe millionaires have people on the payroll to ensure the least amount of taxes are paid. The public knows that political figures do the same thing.  And they are pretty confident that plumbers and roofers are trying their best to hide their true income.  TV stars, actors, and singer? Oh yes....without any doubt.

For soccer fans....there's this worry now.  Maybe the idiots in Berlin will sharpen up new tax regulations and starve off the soccer clubs.....sending the best players to Italy or Spain.  You'd end up with probably ten of the best Germans players.....not even entertaining a contract with a German club.

The news media?  It was a curious thing on Wednesday night....with ARD's 8PM news crew.  They just aren't seeing a huge reaction by they took the story to Spain where....almost twenty percent unemployment is killing the job situation in Spain.  So the German journalists got tons of negative commentary from the Spanish.  Does the German public care?  I'm not sure if there's a huge thrust of public sentiment over the issue.

Bottom line?  I'd expect all of the political parties to have tax sharpening as one of the big priorities for the elections in the fall.  Sadly....German players better be prepared to play in Italy for 2014.....if you ask me.


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