“International sports federations in no way justify France’s tax complacency”

Lhe provision was discreetly introduced by Renaissance deputies in an amendment to the finance bill for 2024, in order to “promote the installation and maintenance on French territory” international sports federations (FSI) and to guarantee them “an adapted and sustainable tax framework”.

The thirty-four federations potentially concerned – those recognized by the International Olympic Committee – will benefit, if they set up their headquarters in France, from exemptions from corporate tax, property taxes and corporate value added. Their employees will be exempt from income tax for five years.

And even though the limitation in time of these advantages was introduced after an unfavorable opinion from the Council of State, which pointed out a breakdown in equality regarding tax. Such tax gifts, as ordinary as they may be today, are nonetheless part of this rupture.

Disregard for human rights and the environment

The majority defends a strategy of“attractiveness” for France, whose absence of a global sports policy is regularly highlighted at a time when the sport power is mobilized by many nations on the world diplomatic scene. The aim is to host other major competitions after Euro 2016, the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

However, the system is contradictory with the efforts requested of the French in favor of budgetary rigor, with the claim to reduce the number of “niches”, and with simple tax justice. The problem is also moral: the ISF, with their relative exemplary nature, in no way justifies this complacency.

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First targeted by the measure, the International Football Federation (FIFA) has had a base in Paris since 2021, where around twenty employees work, after an agreement concluded between the President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, and the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron. Despite already advantageous provisions, it clearly expected greater fiscal hospitality, likely to rival that of Switzerland, where its headquarters are located – a country which recognizes sports associations as a public utility, supposedly non-profit status.

However, sports governments deserve this status less and less, as FIFA illustrates. Based on 4 billion dollars in reserves, it recorded revenues of 7.6 billion dollars over the 2019-2022 cycle, and forecasts 11 for 2023-2026, in particular thanks to the expansion of the World Cup by thirty -two to forty-eight teams during its next edition.

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