PSL players unhappy with steep income tax in South Africa

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Ernest Makhaya
Many PSL players are feeling the crunch of the government's decision to enforce a hefty tax contribution on the country's more affluent folk

Several of the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) highest earners are feeling the pinch following the South African government’s decision in 2017 to enforce a 45% tax contribution on the country’s more affluent earners.

This has really hit the pockets of many prominent PSL footballers hard and after the budget speech which was deliver by current South African minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday, PSL players don’t seem to be receiving any respite.

According to the law, those who earn more than R 1.5-million have to pay up to 45% in tax while others who earn above R 708310 need to contribute 41%. Admittingly, many PSL footballers who meet the above criteria are not all too pleased with this decision, and in an interview with the Sowetan many of those who earn In the bracket of R150 000 to R250 000 a month have expressed their concerns.

"Yeah, it's quite a lot (45%). Back home you are taxed according to the number of years you can work or your contract because there are no guarantees that a person will work after their deal expires," one PSL footballer told The Sowetan.

"You end up being taxed [per month] more than someone who works for 20 years at a company, while footballers would spend maybe three seasons with a club. With our careers being so short, 45% is a lot. Not many can have a career of more than 10 years,” he added.

"We have families, we have children and things are getting more expensive. We would like it to change," he said.

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"It really does hurt the pocket. We work really hard to help at home, progress and maybe invest. After taking home [money] to the family and paying for the house, thereafter it's really hard to save. It's not like players are earning R100-million a year like in Europe. A lot of us have to start at home, so it takes time to build wealth in SA,” he explained.

“In the UK, the earning power is different because they can be set for life even after paying tax. It would be fantastic for the taxman to meet us half way," he concluded.