Cyprus Mail

Football clubs seek privileged discounts on tax

APOEL and Omonia’s request to cut the entertainment tax to 3 per cent for local matches, payable to Strovolos Municipality, has caused a major issue, according to reports.

Their request comes at a time when the municipality does not have balanced accounts and is in need of cash. They also asked to pay no tax for European Game, Politis newspaper reported.

Last November, their application to decrease the amount from 10 per cent to 5 per cent was granted.

According to Politis, Apoel still owes the municipality €296,000 in entertainment tax after the Champions League, Omonia owes €70,000 and Apolonas €21,000 for the Europa League matches.

Municipal staff issued an announcement questioning the logic by which the pro-AKEL and DISY football teams were given priority in their request, outlining that losses were expected at €330,000-470,000 excluding the money lost since the November tax reduction.

The money belongs to residents and not associations or individual groups, they added.

Earlier this week, Strovolos Mayor Lazaros Savvides told CyBC state radio station that there were groups that supported the request while a vast majority opposed it. He informed the council that they already had un-balanced accounts (all municipalities are now obliged to have balanced accounts) and that in the case where the request was granted, other means would have to be enforced to combat the loss of revenue.

In regards to their outstanding debts, Savvides said he already had meetings with the team’s councils and as an act of good will told them to settle some part of their debt until he evaluated their request.

He added that if they did not comply, he would refer the cases to the Cyprus Football Association (KOP) and inform the European football body UEFA that the teams were falling short on criteria on settling entertainment tax.

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