At present, Belgian football clubs pay medium-high taxes. More specifically, in order to pay to a football player an annual net salary of EUR 300,000, a Belgian football club needs to pay EUR 202,117 in taxes and social security contributions. Although such a tax burden is much higher than other EU countries like Cyprus and Croatia where the total amount of the taxes and social security contributions on the same net salary will be EUR 66,981 and EUR 124,398, respectively, it is not the highest in the EU.
French football clubs pay the highest tax in the EU on the salaries of their players. A French football club that wishes to pay an annual net salary of EUR 300,000 to a player needs to pay taxes and social security contributions in the amount of EUR 345,126. This means that the amount of taxes and social security contributions will exceed the amount of the net salary.
Belgium considers changing its tax system in such a way as to remove the current preferential taxation regime on salaries of football players. If this happens, Belgian football clubs will need to pay EUR 592,202 in taxes and social security contributions on each net salary of EUR 300,000. Thus, Belgium will become the EU country with the highest taxation on salaries payable to football players. This, in turn, may lead to a decrease in the net salaries of many football players who may leave Belgium in order to get a remuneration that meets their expectations.
The increased taxation on salaries of football players may also stop the growing turnover of the Belgian Pro League. The clubs’ turnover for the 2017/2018 increased with 3% compared to the 2016/2017 season. A decreased turnover may also lead to a dismissal of employees. In the 2017/2018 season, 3,710 people had employment positions related to the Belgian Pro League.
In conclusion, Belgian football players willing to receive high net salaries may need to consider their relocation to a more tax-friendly jurisdiction. If you need advice on choosing a suitable jurisdiction, please contact us. We would be glad to assist you.