Flemish Minister-President and Kim's taxes - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2003, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Flemish Minister-President and Kim's taxes


This column was in Flemish newspaper Het Belang van Limburg today, Feb 19, 2003

In brief, it brings the news that Flemish Minister-President (= prime minister) Dewael (who was at the finals at the Diamond Games last Sunday) would take Kim's tax issue to heart and would plan to discuss this issue with the Belgian federal minister of Finance.
As reaction the newspaper writes this column, criticising the case quite a bit. For example, the writer (chief-editor) asks Mr Dewael to also take his tax case to the Finance minister, as well as that of friends and family.

For the Flemings who are interested in this matter, here 's the full text: (as I am fed up with these tax stuff, and still have enough other articles to translate/finish and I'm lazy tonight , sorry, only in Dutch )

Just a quote: 'When he (=the minister-president) got informed about the danger of a possible move of Kim to Australia, he promptly reacted. Kim is the best ambassador Belgium and Flanders could have. That has to stay this way, is Dewael's opinion. Therefore he is prepared to pay a visit to his federal colleague of Finance to see what he could do for Kim.'


19/02/2003 Een vraagje

Verhuist Kim Clijsters straks definitief naar Australië en neemt ze er de Australische nationaliteit aan? Dat zou kunnen. Lei Clijsters, zoals de naam laat vermoeden de vader van Kim, dreigt daarmee. Hij vindt namelijk dat zijn dochter hier veel te veel belastingen moet betalen op wat ze verdient als tennisster, met de nadruk op ster. In Australië is het belastingklimaat milder.

Lei Clijsters heeft overschot van gelijk. Zijn dochter Kim reist de wereld rond, komt in alle steden steevast dezelfde meisjes tegen, wil al eens een toernooi winnen, is de nummer drie van de wereld, maar houdt op het einde van de rit stukken minder over van haar prijzengeld dan alle andere meisjes, uitgezonderd Justine Henin. Want dat is ook een Belgische en die zit dus in hetzelfde schuitje.

Maar er is hoop voor Kim Clijsters en haar vader/manager.Afgelopen zondag speelde ons aller Kim de finale van de Diamond Games in Antwerpen.Op de afgeladen volle tribunes zaten ook wat excellenties, zoals minister-president Patrick Dewael. Toen die werd gewezen op het dreigend gevaar van een verhuis van Kim naar Australië, reageerde hij prompt. Kim is de beste ambassadrice die België en Vlaanderen zich kunnen indenken. Dat moet zo blijven, vindt Dewael. En daarom is hij bereid om eens bij federaal minister van Financiën Didier Reynders te horen wat die kan doen voor Kim.

Ik wil bij deze Patrick Dewael uitdrukkelijk feliciteren met zijn initiatief.Hij heeft mijn steun. Het enige wat ik aan onze ministerpresident zou willen vragen, is dat hij ook even mijn dossier meeneemt de dag dat hij naar Didier Reynders stapt.

Ik denk dat ik dit mag vragen aan Patrick Dewael,omdat de gelijkenissen tussen Kim Clijsters en mezelf groot zijn, verrassend groot.

Zo verdiende ik net zoals onze Kim 64.000 dollar.OK,zij verdiende dat na amper een week tennissen in Antwerpen, ik had daar beduidend meer tijd voor nodig. Maar 64.000 dollar is 64.000 dollar. Net zoals Kim speel ik ook tennis, zo goed zelfs dat ik soms kan winnen van mijn hoofdredacteur Ivo Vandekerckhove, en dat wil wat zeggen. En net zoals Kim woon ik in Limburg en betaal ik dus in België belastingen. Het enige verschilpunt is dat zij een Australische vriend heeft en zo naar Australië kan, terwijl ik geen Australische vriendin heb. Maar wat niet is, kan nog komen.

Dus, mijnheer de minister-president, ik vraag het u heel beleefd, neem alstublieft mijn dossier mee naar Didier Reynders.En neem als het niet te veel gevraagd is ook de dossiers van mijn broers Philippe, Patrick, Olivier en Christophe mee, de dossiers van mijn vrienden Jan en Marc en de dossiers van mijn collega’s Luc,Frank, Ivo, Eddy en Koen.


Last edited by KaseyL; Feb 19th, 2003 at 09:43 PM.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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A thing on this one, before I forget it

This whole tax issue and Kim moving topic was on the radio again, on Flemish Radio 1, just a little bit after 8 AM today.

It was said that the Belgian minister of Finance had answered that there can't be any exception for Kim. (as if he could change the law himself )
Nevertheless they - maybe - might look into the entire tax issue for athletes, as foreign athletes only pay 18% in Belgium while the Belgian ones pay the whole lot in Belgium.
(Lleyton, come over here: cheaper than Australia )
There were also some comments from newspaper journalist Hans Vandeweghe (De Morgen), for once I could quite agree with him btw. I won't go into the details again, as I've been writing my comments on Lei's quotes in some other thread related to this Australia topic, but basically Vandeweghe stated that there are quite some legal ways to minimize taxes in Belgium too, as of the moment you create a company (and Kim has one, btw).

Anyway, it's election time coming up in Belgium, so I guess the Flemish minister-president Dewael wanted to be in the news with his efforts to save Kim for Belgium...

A last sidenote: since quite a bit of time there are studies/projects to set up a scheme for all athletes (and not only football players, basketball players 'til now)... so far nothing has been really decided (big surprise... )
At least I must give credit to Lei for complaining about the discrimination in Belgium if you're not a football player, however I just hope he stops bringing this money issue up in each interview I'm reading since several months It doesn't serve Kim's public image and it won't solve the tax issue anyway. That's my opinion.

I stop ranting LOL, getting some lunch finally (I just don't eat when I'm working on things )
I won't forget to post the full humo interview and my Antwerp pics and all, btw. NOT forgotten.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 07:01 PM
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Kim has her society??

Sweet as Belgian Chocolate, Bubbly as Champagne

"When you do your best, it's always good enough" - Kim Clijsters

"No matter what happens, you have to try to stay positive, bad things can happen, but if you try to stay positive, something positive will come out of it…I believe that everything happens for a reason" - Kim Clijsters

"Goed is de ergste vijand van zeer goed" - Pascal Smet

"Als je iemand idealiseert, verlies je het contact met de werkelijkheid"

"Ca s’apprend par la souffrance, ça s’apprend par les déceptions, ça s’apprend par la densité du mal que ça te fait, plus ça te fait mal et plus ça te fait grandir. Y a des moments où tu te dis je ne vais pas le supporter, ça, ça fait trop mal, et pourtant tu passes au travers."
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by Come-on-kim
Kim has her society??
Yes, since two years I think (should look that one up).

That's really one of the few legal ways to reduce taxes; at least she got good legal advice I suppose. Several Belgian high profile athletes even don't know that they best would have been off self-employed, this ignorance now means extra financial loss for these athletes.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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The Belgian federal minister of Finance has officially denied in parliament that a special tax treatment can be made for Kim. (of course, what was Dewael thinking )
He added that this doesn't exclude that she can have a sort of deal with the tax authorities (note: this is an agreement of what the taxes would accept as fair costs, things like that).

OK, hopefully this latest statement by Lei is the last one on the matter for now:

Lei in het Belang van Limburg, Feb 21, 2003:
(first page news btw)

(translated by Ingrid)

"We don't want any special tax rate for Kim and we have never asked for it. We don't want that there would be an exception for Kim. We have to pay taxes like any other Belgian and want to be treated as any other Belgian.

We understand that what was said by minister-president Dewael [see above] has been taken badly by many, but we leave it for what it is."

Last edited by KaseyL; Feb 21st, 2003 at 07:40 PM.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 09:04 PM
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Thank you for all your work!
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 09:07 PM
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Hi Ingrid.
Just want to say THANX for translating all the none-english articles for those of us, who don't understand flemish(?)Great.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 09:21 PM
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Ingrid....you are a STAR for translating all that stuff. I would be a lost Aussie without this website
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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You're welcome!
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2003, 10:13 PM
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We had a whole mess about professional sports and taxes a few years ago in Canada. The Canadian NHL teams were complaining about how high the taxes are on the rinks (stadiums), especially considering all the money they pay out to players is in American dollars and all the money they make is in Canadian dollars. So the government actually decided to lower the taxes on the buildings for the NHL teams..it lasted one day Everyone went nuts that the government was cutting taxes for something as unimportant as sports.

So I assume the same principle would apply here. You can't give athletes or sports teams tax breaks, cause most likely the public won't stand for it.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 2003, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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It's not the last thing yet re these tax issues:

The Clijsters family will from now on boycot part of the Belgian press, as a result of the tax row of the last days (see my posts above).

Here follows part of Lei Clijsters' press statement today: (Belgian press agency Belga news, Feb 24, 2003)

(translation by Ingrid)

Lei: "After the slander campaign of the last days concerning the proposal of minister-president Dewael for a topsport system, in which the media have abused Kim's name, she and her entourage do no longer wish to be available for that same media."
in Dutch:

"Na de lastercampagne van de voorbije dagen in verband met het voorstel van minister Dewael voor een topsportstatuut, waarbij de media Kims naam hebben misbruikt, wenst zij en haar entourage niet meer ter beschikking te staan van diezelfde media."

Lei said this doesn't mean a total media boycot; it would only apply to "the media who have used Kim's name the past couple of days. We know which ones and we ourselves will determine with whom we still will co-operate."

in Dutch: "Wij weten welke en bepalen zelf met wie we wel nog samenwerken".

Last edited by KaseyL; Feb 24th, 2003 at 04:05 PM.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 2003, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 'Breaking news': Latest press statement Clijsters family Feb 24 2003

Hope this isn't the start of a sort of cold war like Lleyton has with part of the Aussie media...

Last edited by KaseyL; Feb 26th, 2003 at 10:20 AM.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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Lei has a point!

Come on Kim!!!!!!!!
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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He has a point, but not the right one, I think....
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 2003, 06:00 PM
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I guess I missed something..what were the media saying about Kim and this tax thing?
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