Netherlands court cases on whether Article 17 of tax treaties applies to the athlete?s basis salary

Recently there have been two Netherlands Court of Appeal cases on the issue of whether tax treaty articles in Netherlands tax treaties dealing with athletes (and artistes) are also applicable to the basis salary of the athletes. In the two cases at hand, the athletes received a regular fixed basis salary and on top of that extra payments in relation to the results of their sporting activities outside of the Netherlands.

The Court of Appeal of ?s-Hertognebosch decided in both cases that these tax treaty provisions do also apply to the basis salary of the athlete. In effect this means that the athletes were entitled to an exemption (with progression) regarding this income component.

However, the Netherlands tax authorities have filed an appeal against these decisions. The decision of the Supreme Court on this issue is to be awaited.