Brazilians will pay heavily for FIFA’s “obscene” tax abuses
June 12th, 2014
June 12th, 2014
Four years ago the Tax Justice Network wrote about FIFA’s so-called African “tax bubble” where FIFA was forcing a poor African country to forego its potential football tax revenues in order to funnel yet more money into FIFA’s gilded Zürich headquarters and its lucrative empire. We quoted Professor Han Kogels of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, who said:
“They want to create their own tax haven. A fully exempt situation. That is, FIFA and its FIFA subsidiaries that are fully exempt from any tax whatsoever levied at every level – state level, municipal level. All sorts of taxes: consumption taxes, income taxes – you name it – it’s all exempt.”
Now, it seems FIFA is at it again. Here’s a video from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, where he takes a good look at FIFA’s tax injustices, among many other things:
ChristianAid, a UK-based NGO and member of the FTC, launched a campaign centered on raising more attention to the injustice of allowing FIFA to skirt tax obligations in countries where tax revenue is needed the most.
From CA’s press release:
Brazil will lose up to £312 million in foregone revenue to World Cup sponsors including McDonalds, Budweiser and Johnson & Johnson, according to the campaign by InspirAction, Christian Aid’s Spanish organisation.‘The price of these tax breaks for corporate giants will be paid by people living in poverty in Brazil and that is obscene,’ said Isabel Ortigosa of InspirAction.
‘Brazil is already one of the most unequal countries in the world. The millions that FIFA demands for its sponsors should be used for the benefit of Brazil’s many poor communities, not to enrich the already powerful.’
Ms Ortigosa added: ‘The most conservative estimates suggest that Brazil’s Internal Revenue Service will lose about £145 million to tax breaks for World Cup sponsors, although some estimates suggest the loss could reach £312 million.
‘This is money that should be used to help Brazil’s millions of poor families, for instance with better schools, hospitals and public transport, financial support for all communities affected by infrastructure projects and also through a fairer tax system.’