A few days ago, in the general silence of public opinion, the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama proposed a new tax exemption, apparently selective and aimed at the service of large companies and their links with the sports teams of Albania.
Reporter, the BIRN group's online Albanian newspaper, was among the few to give space to the news. The proposed revision of the law on the profit tax provides that the large Albanian companies with a minimum turnover of 100 million lek a year (about 815.000 euros) have the right to sponsor sports teams and to recognize as a deductible expense not only the sponsored amount, but even three times the amount.
Taking a practical example, if a company sponsors a sports team for a sum of 10 lek it will have the right not to pay the tax on the profit of 15% on triple the value of the sponsorship (therefore 30 lek).
A bill that makes people talk
A bill that appears clearly very selective, both as regards the sponsors and as regards the beneficiaries of the sponsorships. If on the one hand the companies that want to benefit from the exemption must necessarily have a minimum turnover of 100 million lek a year, on the other hand the sponsorships may be exclusively addressed to "sports teams, belonging to sports federations recognized by the legislation in force" .
Consequently, for all other types of sponsorship (culture, charity events, etc.) the current legislation would still be in force with deductible sponsorship amounts only when they do not exceed 5% of the company's gross annual profit.
Moreover, from a practical point of view, the bill marks an attack on the dividing line between private and public bodies in sporting activities which, in fact, could become completely blurred in the future. This is because most of the football and sports clubs in general are owned by the different municipalities of Albania, with mayors who are simultaneously president of the companies. Even when the latter are not owned by the municipalities, the link with politics is evident with, very often, the mayors who are the number one supporters of the teams.
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