South African revenue services to tax all footballers participating in the Fifa Confederations Cup

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South African taxmen have said they would be out in full force to collect tax from soccer stars in SA for the Fifa Confederations Cup which starts this week and the 2010 Soccer World Cup next year.

South African Revenue Service (SARS), spokesman Adrian Lackay is today
quoted saying it would be the first time SARS will tax participants in a major sporting event.

In 1995 and 2003, World Cup rugby and cricket players escaped the clutches of the taxman as there was no legislation in place at that time to tax foreign sportsmen.

But this time around players will be subject to a 15% tax on amounts earned from all matches played in SA, which is at a lower rate than they would normally pay on their other earnings.

Lackay dismissed reports that to them the events would give them an
opportuity to rake in money. “This thinking is wrong — SARS did not sit and calculate what ‘potential’ or ‘additional’ revenue this country may extract from these tournaments. We have no expectations as far as the issue of additional tax is concerned,” he said.

The eight team extravangaza features South Africa, Spain, Iraq, New
Zealand in group A with USA, Italy, Brazil and Egypt in group B. The teams are sending most of their best stars, even those who have only just finished a gruelling season with their European clubs.

Brazil will send most of the players who are about to take part in World Cup qualifying action in the next few days while Spain, the entertaining winner of last year’s Euro 2008 championship, has announced its strongest available squad.

The squad include Fernando Torres, David Villa , Xavi Hernandez, Andres
Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso, as Spain seeks to underline why it’s the best team in the world.

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