Court of Justice of the European Union finds that a footballers claim for expenses was false

30 June 2023

In most European countries, footballers (like other employees) can claim the costs of employment related expenses as tax deductible.

Typical employee expenses would be any costs incurred for travel required by their employment, or buying equipment (eg boots) that they need in the performance of their duties.

Typically, footballers don’t have many expenses as their Clubs will provide them with everything they need from physio to travel to kits etc.

In this case Footballer, Sabou, claimed the costs of travelling to several countries to undertake trials at different football clubs. On the face of it these expenses would have been allowable in the Czech Republic.

However, when the revenue authorities made enquiries at the clubs they found the following: ‘It follows from the replies of those authorities that none of the clubs allegedly approached or knew either Mr Sabou or his agent.’

Clearly, as Sabou had not trialled at the clubs, his travel expenses were disallowed.

As with all expenses, the player must have actually incurred the expense and it must be related to their employment (or business) otherwise the claim is not allowed.

Full case reference: Jiří Sabou v Finanční ředitelství pro hlavní město Prahu (Case C-276/12, 22nd Oct 2013, CJEU)

#sportstax #sportslaw #istasports #taxlaw

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