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Manuel Announces Tax Relief For 2010 World Cup

by Robert Lee,, London

03 November 2006

South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel yesterday introduced into the National Assembly a bill that will provide certain entities complete tax relief on imports on the run up to the football World Cup, which is being staged in the country in 2010.

Under the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, FIFA, soccer's world governing body, and its affiliated organisations, will be able to import inventory for sale at designated sites (e.g. stadiums), capital goods, consumables and promotional materials directly related to the World Cup, free from import taxes.

In addition, FIFA and its subsidiaries, and Participating National Associations (other than the South African Football Association SAFA) will receive exemption from income tax. These entities will also generally be entitled to VAT refund credits.

FIFA sponsors will receive the same tax benefits, but only those sponsors operating in what Manual described as a "tax-free bubble" covering areas such as the Stadiums and other key locations for hosting the World Cup will be so entitled.

FIFA-related foreign individuals will also receive partial exemption. This partial exemption will eliminate South African income tax associated with the event and will cover a number of foreign individuals associated with the event, such as the FIFA delegation as well as commercial and merchandising staff.

However, tickets and hospitality services (including hotel accommodation) will remain subject to VAT at the standard rate of 14%, although some of the VAT revenue collected from the sale of tickets will be made available via the budget of the Department of Sports to subsidise ticket prices for some local supporters, said Manuel.

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