Top 10 weirdest tax rules around the world!
Countries across the globe have justified deductions, extra percentages and wacky ways of coming up with tax revenue. Here's a countdown of the strangest tax laws around the world.
10. South Africa: World Cup tax bubble
Soccer may be the world's sport, but it's also one of the world's best bargains when it comes to taxes—at least for FIFA.
The BBC reported in 2010 that as part of bidding for the World Cup, host countries must agree to exempt FIFA, the organisation that puts on the World Cup, and its subsidiaries from paying taxes to the host country. The taxes this applies to depends on the country, but in South Africa in 2010 the taxes exemptions were fairly sweeping.
The BBC reported that the breaks "[relieve] FIFA, its subsidiaries, and foreign football associations which are taking part, of income tax, customs duties, and [value added taxes]. World Cup preparations have cost South Africa an estimated 33 billion- nearly £3 billion. This also applies to the various organisations designated as FIFA's commercial affiliates, licensees, host broadcasters, broadcast rights agencies, merchandise partners, service providers, concession operators and providers of hospitality."
Technically this extends to any country that has hosted a World Cup. Brazil signed a similar tax agreement for hosting the games in 2014. When Germany hosted the games in 2006, FIFA accrued 2.8 billion Swiss Francs (£1.72 billion) in the four years up to and including the competition, yet paid only 1 million Swiss Francs (£613,500) in local taxes.
9 France: Google tax
Europe is relatively more protective of privacy most, which has often led to more controls on tech companies. However, compounded with the economic crisis, European countries are more likely than ever to go after big tech companies who they say are making revenue off their citizens without paying due taxes. These taxes are largely known as "Google taxes," though they apply to any large Internet-based company.
France has been the most outspoken nation in attempting to tax Internet companies like brick-and-mortar companies. Previously France contemplated a "culture tax" on smart phones and tablets made by Google and other tech companies in hopes of gaining revenue for a cultural fund.
A recent iteration of the Google tax is France's assertion that the company owes the country $1.35 billion in back taxes for circumventing the tax laws by diverting much of its French revenue to Ireland (where there are lower taxes). Google's Paris offices reported its revenue was $260.53 million in 2011, while analysts believe revenue was more like $1.89 billion.
After revelations of NSA spying, on top of suspicious tax moves, it's likely that France and large Internet companies will be sparring financially for years to come.