Jupiler Pro League suffers record losses despite tax benefits

The Jupiler Pro League continues to benefit from significant tax advantages, receiving 200 million euros a year in tax and social security benefits, De Morgen reports. Despite a notable reduction in social security contributions for professional athletes two years ago, recent figures indicate that this decrease has not been reflected in the league's financial performance, according to research by the newspaper.

Last season marked a historic financial low for Belgian football, with top-flight clubs collectively reporting a record cumulative loss of 150 million euros. De Morgen's analysis of annual accounts shows that two-thirds of these clubs ended the financial year in deficit. When considering the historical losses of the current first-division teams, their total deficit amounts to 406.9 million euros.

This financial strain raises concerns, particularly considering the substantial taxpayer subsidies the sector receives. First-division teams collectively benefited from more than 200 million euros in discounts on social security contributions and withholding tax during the last season.

In response to these findings, Finance minister Vincent Van Peteghem of Flemish Christian democrats CD&V, acknowledged the need for a comprehensive reform of tax benefits. Despite facing opposition from the liberals in the past, Van Peteghem's reform plan is still on the agenda.

"It has now been included in the blueprint for tax reform," he said. Although not immediately ready, it is expceted to be part of an extensive tax reform in the upcoming legislative session.


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