THE NETHERLANDS: Tax authorities audit accounts of top amateur soccer clubs

The Netherlands tax authorities have reported that they have conducted audits of the accounts of 18 amateur soccer clubs that play in the highest Netherlands amateur competitions. The main taxes that were investigated are the Value Added Tax and the wage tax. The average correction for VAT amounted to EUR 30,000 per club, and for wage tax the average correction amounted to 25,000 EUR per club. Twenty investigations are apparently still pending.

The VAT issues mainly concerned the turnover of the club canteen. If the yearly turnover exceeds EUR 68,067 VAT is due on all receipts. Regarding supporting activities like sponsoring, sale of products or the sale of entrance tickets VAT is always due. If a club performs both exempt and taxable activities a split needs to be made of VAT that can be reclaimed and VAT that cannot be reclaimed. These two rules have apparently been the main reasons for corrections.

Regarding wage taxes the main issues have been payments to amateur players and volunteers. Wage tax is due on victory premiums paid to players. Club volunteers who help e.g. in the canteen may receive on a monthly basis tax-free payments EUR 150 (with a maximum of EUR 1,500 per year). No wage tax is due on reimbursements of costs, paid to players or volunteers. In some instances clubs had booked payments to players as payments to volunteers.