Brazilians will pay heavily for FIFA’s “obscene” tax abuses

   0   0 Blog, Capital Flight, Corruption, Human Rights
See more anti-FIFA paintings at lunaticnews.nl

See more anti-FIFA paintings at lunaticnews.nl

Four years ago we wrote about FIFA’s so-called African “tax bubble” where FIFA was forcing a poor African country to forego its potential football tax revenues in order to funnel yet more money into FIFA’s gilded Zürich headquarters and its lucrative empire.  We quoted Professor Han Kogels of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, who said:

“They want to create their own tax haven. A fully exempt situation. That is, FIFA and its FIFA subsidiaries that are fully exempt from any tax whatsoever levied at every level – state level, municipal level. All sorts of taxes: consumption taxes, income taxes – you name it – it’s all exempt.”

Now, from Christian Aid, via email:

BRAZILIANS PAY PRICE OF TAX BREAKS FOR WORLD CUP SPONSORS, WARN CAMPAIGNERS

FIFA must end its ‘obscene’ insistence on World Cup host countries giving tax breaks worth hundreds of millions to the event’s corporate sponsors, a new campaign is urging.

Brazil will lose up to £312 million in foregone revenue to World Cup sponsors including McDonalds, Budweiser and Johnson & Johnson, according to the campaign by InspirAction, Christian Aid’s Spanish organisation.

‘The price of these tax breaks for corporate giants will be paid by people living in poverty in Brazil and that is obscene,’ said Isabel Ortigosa of InspirAction.

‘Brazil is already one of the most unequal countries in the world. The millions that FIFA demands for its sponsors should be used for the benefit of Brazil’s many poor communities, not to enrich the already powerful.’

InspirAction has launched a petition calling on FIFA President Sep Blatter to ‘give tax breaks for the World Cup sponsors the red card – and never impose these rules on World Cup host countries in the future.’

Ms Ortigosa added: ‘The most conservative estimates suggest that Brazil’s Internal Revenue Service will lose about £145 million to tax breaks for World Cup sponsors, although some estimates suggest the loss could reach £312 million.

‘This is money that should be used to help Brazil’s millions of poor families, for instance with better schools, hospitals and public transport,  financial support for all communities affected by infrastructure projects and also through a fairer tax system.’

Inequality in Brazil is so severe that the top 20 per cent of people get almost 60 per cent of all income, while the bottom 20 per cent (around 40 million people) get just 3 per cent, according to World Bank figures.

Land ownership is also sharply unequal, with almost one third of all farmland held by fewer than one per cent of rural landowners, according to research published by Christian Aid.

Parts of Brazil’s tax system exacerbate inequality, by imposing sometimes impossible burdens on poor people.

While FIFA sponsors do not pay tax, 10 Afro Brazilian quilombola communities –  formed by runaway slaves – in the Amazonian state of Pará face a land tax bill of £4 million, which they have no hope of paying.

Lawyer Carolina Bellinger of the Pro Indio Commission, a Christian Aid partner organisation which is helping the communities fight the unjust demand, says the case means ‘huge insecurity for 1,000 families in this region and could affect more than 8,500 others in northern Pará.’

Mara Luz, Deputy Head of Christian Aid in Latin America and the Caribbean, said: ’Fans travelling to support their country in the World Cup will not get a chance to see the real Brazil and how quilombola families are suffering because of this unfair tax system. Instead, it will be a bland corporate version of the country.’

Ends

To arrange interviews and for more information, contact Rachel Baird on: 00 44 (0)207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org  24 hour press duty phone: 07850 242950  


Related Posts

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Protesting PwC: Professionals Without Conscience

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceThis week is the global week of action for tax justice and on Wednesday 5th April activists from the Tax Justice Network and Methodists for Tax Justice held a protest outside the London offices of Price Waterhouse Coopers. The global week of action for tax justice is happening one year after the release of the […]

READ MORE →

Germany moves forward on corporate transparency

ReichstagThe Bundesrat has today voted to recommend implementing a public register of the beneficial ownership of companies and trusts.  Great news from Germany, as the country takes an important step forward towards corporate transparency.

READ MORE →

New estimates reveal the extent of tax avoidance by multinationals

Price Waterhouse CoopersNew figures published today by the Tax Justice Network provide a country-level breakdown of the estimated tax losses to profit shifting by multinational companies. Applying a methodology developed by researchers at the International Monetary Fund to an improved dataset, the results indicate global losses of around $500 billion a year. The figures appear in a […]

READ MORE →

Banking Secrecy in China, its related territories and Taiwan

Hong Kong from Sky 100Foreword. The Tax Justice Network is a non partisan network of experts working towards transparency, so we do not take any position about countries’ territorial and political claims. However, we do expect countries with a de jure (legal) or de facto (in practice) influence over other territories, to take responsibility for their power. We point […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top