Party Over for Soccer Teams Cashing in on Tax Loophole | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.10.2003
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Party Over for Soccer Teams Cashing in on Tax Loophole

After the recent uproar caused by revelations that the German soccer club Borussia Dortmund was using federal tax breaks for nighttime and weekend games to trim its tax bill, the German government has announced plans to close the tax law loophole. Published reports on Wednesday indicated that German Finance Minister Hans Eichel plans to change the existing law to prevent soccer clubs from making use of a tax privilege, originally created for nurses, shift workers and other low-income employees. The new provision would cap the tax-free bonus for soccer clubs at €12.50 per hour for games played after 8 p.m. and a maximum of €25 for Sunday games. Weeks ago it emerged that Borussia Dortmund players, who earned an average of €4 million each, were receiving part of their hefty salaries in the form of tax-free bonuses, a practice that saved the stock exchange-listed club €1.5 million per year.