Accounting solutions for athletes, artists & influencers



Just as professional athlete is the umbrella term for professional footballer, swimmer or professional cyclist, tax advisor is an umbrella term for a variety of different activities and focuses with tax content. So if you’re a good footballer, that doesn’t make you a good cyclist. And that is also the case for us tax advisors.


Those who have an eye for the big picture and fine-tune the details have an advantage: in sport, in the arts as well as in tax and social security law. What could be more obvious than to choose someone as a teammate or member who knows the interrelationships and is able to minimise taxes and contributions through detailed knowledge? The special regulations for athletes and artists are by no means common knowledge, all the more so when they are also active internationally.

Our services

Your benefit

  • Checking the operating expenses/advertising costs
  • Minimisation of the tax burden
  • Regular advantage comparison between “sportsman’s remission” or normal taxation
  • Social security optimisation
  • Preparation of all tax returns
  • Representation vis-à-vis the authorities
  • International tax consulting network especially for athletes
  • Avoidance of double taxation
  • Fair fee


  • Support with the foundation of an association
  • Examination of the statutes from a tax point of view, among other things with regard to non-profit status and the law on associations
  • Audit of accounting
  • Tax check (including turnover tax, corporate income tax)
  • Obligation to keep cash registers and to provide receipts
  • Optimisation proposals
  • Verification of income of association members
  • Support during tax audits

Human Resources Management


Being an athlete does not always mean being self-employed. In some cases, the practice of sport constitutes the object of an employment relationship. Insofar as a professional athlete does not exercise his or her activity on a self-employed basis, he or she is to be considered an employee – and this often raises many questions in practice.

Personalmanagement für Vereine/Verbände

  • Advice on labour law, social security law and payroll tax law
  • Preparation of draft contracts
  • Payroll accounting

HR management for athletes with foreign employers

  • Advice on labour law, social security law and payroll tax law
  • Preparation of draft contracts
  • Payroll accounting


Sport & Tax & Duties

For athletes – regardless of whether they are professional or amateur athletes – there are special tax and social insurance law features to consider. We answer the most frequently asked questions:


Professional footballer in employment

As a rule, professional footballers have an employment relationship and their remuneration is therefore subject to wage tax and social security contributions, just as is the case with other employees. Professional footballers’ employment relationships are also subject to labour law. 1.

1) Are professional footballers employees or workers?

Professional footballers are undoubtedly in a genuine employment relationship under labour law. This results from the fact that football, as a team sport, necessarily entails a corresponding integration of the individual player into the operational process, the obligatory observance of predetermined working hours and places (training, meetings, matches) as well as the binding to instructions (especially of the team coach and the club management).

The long disputed question of whether footballers are workers or employees was answered by the Supreme Court as follows:

“Even if top performances are repeatedly achieved in professional football, the professional footballer is typically subject to uninterrupted control and instruction by the coach. Since, in addition, the manual activities, in particular endurance, speed, strength and dexterity, are in the foreground, it cannot generally be assumed that the player is an employee.” (OGH 16. 7. 2004, 8 ObS 20/03d)

2) Are chain service contracts permissible for professional footballers?

According to case law, the prohibition of chain employment contracts does not apply to professional footballers. Fixed-term contracts (e.g. for the respective season) are common for footballers and therefore objectively justified. 3.

3) Are professional footballers entitled to match assignments?

A professional footballer has the right to participate in the training and courses of the fighting team (and not only the reserve team), so that he is given the opportunity to deal with tactics, team practices and opponents.

There is, however, no right to actual match appearances in the fighting team.

4) Are professional footballers subject to a collective agreement?

Since 2008, there has been a “Collective Agreement for Professional Footballers of the Austrian Football League”, which regulates the employment relationships between Bundesliga clubs and players.

5) Does the AuslBG apply to foreign professional footballers?

In principle, the AuslBG must also be observed for foreign professional footballers if they are nationals of a non-EU/EEA state. For such persons, a relevant permit is required for employment in Austria. In the case of professional footballers, the permit can often be facilitated.

6) How are professional footballers to be assessed from a social security perspective?

Professional footballers are also to be classified as genuine employees in terms of social insurance. Especially in team sports, it is inconceivable in all leagues that individual athletes can be substituted at will at any time. Since football is a team sport, which requires the interaction of the individual team personalities developed in joint training, there is almost always an employment in personal and economic dependence and thus employee status within the meaning of § 4 para 2 ASVG. 7.

7) How are professional footballers to be assessed under tax law?

In the case of athletes who make their labour available by contract, it must be examined in each individual case according to the general criteria whether an employment relationship exists. In the case of team athletes (football, ice hockey, handball, etc.), there is usually an employment relationship.

Professional footballers with unlimited tax liability (i.e. domicile or habitual residence in Austria) are treated according to the generally applicable taxation rules: Taxation of current emoluments according to the tariff, for other emoluments according to § 67 para. 1 and 2 EStG there is the tax concession (6%) within the annual echelon, etc.

Professional footballers with limited tax liability (i.e. neither domicile nor habitual residence in Austria) are generally subject to a flat-rate withholding tax of 20%.


Expense report

An athlete has agreed on a fixed salary. He receives this amount 14 times. No reimbursement of expenses has been agreed in the contract. Can he deduct the tax-exempt amounts according to § 3 Abs 1 Z 16c EStG?

§ 3(1)(16c) EStG – According to 3(1)(16c) EStG, lump-sum travel allowances are tax-exempt if they are granted to athletes, referees and sports coaches (e.g. trainers, masseurs) by beneficiary legal entities within the meaning of §§ 34 ff BAO whose statutory purpose is the practice or promotion of physical sports. Lump-sum travel allowances may be paid up to € 60 per day of service, but not more than € 540 per calendar month. Tax exemption is only granted if travel allowances, daily allowances or accommodation allowances pursuant to section 26 no. 4 EStG or travel allowances pursuant to section 3 para 1 no. 16b EStG are not paid out tax-free in addition.

The aim of the new regulation is to pay out cost reimbursements, which are defined as maximum lump sums in the law, tax-free. It is therefore not possible to deduct tax-free amounts from an agreed fixed sum and pay them out.

The proof that lump-sum expense allowances have been paid out must be documented by means of a statement of account and a record of the days of service. If (monthly) payments are made in the same amount irrespective of the days of service, this is an indication that no lump-sum expense allowances have been paid.



A sportsman was granted tax exemption for lump-sum travel allowances in accordance with § 3 Abs 1 Z 16c EStG. Years later, the non-profit status of the association is revoked. Are the pay slips to be corrected in the course of these proceedings?

§ 3 Abs 1 Z 16c EStG – § 34 BAO standardises under which conditions the non-profit status of an association is given. However, the BAO does not recognise or deny the non-profit status of an association. In most cases, it is determined in the course of a tax audit or wage tax audit whether an association is a non-profit organisation or not. If the conditions for non-profit status are not or no longer met, the association is treated without tax benefits, i.e. like any other corporation.

If, for example, in the course of a GPLA in 2017, it is determined for the years 2013-2015 that the non-profit status of the association existed in 2013, but no longer existed in 2014 and 2015, the payslips for the years 2014 and 2015 must be corrected or payslips must be issued and a subsequent settlement of the payroll tax must be made, since the conditions for the preferential treatment under § 3 para 1 no. 16c EStG did not exist for these years.

Any income-related expenses incurred by the athlete must be claimed in the course of the assessment.


Taxes and social insurance

Lump-sum travel expense allowances to athletes

For the tax assessment of the lump-sum travel allowance, it is initially irrelevant whether the payments are qualified as income from employment, self-employment (e.g. as a freelancer), commercial activity or as other income. This classification is only relevant for the classification of whether there is an obligation to pay social insurance under the ASVG or the GSVG and for payments exceeding the lump sum as well as for the practical handling (such as wage tax withholding, keeping a wage account).

If there is an exchange of services and a person makes himself or herself available to the association with his or her services – disregarding reimbursements of travel costs – for an unreasonably low remuneration (i.e. below the monthly marginal earnings threshold [2016: € 415.72]) or not to a significant extent, there is no employment relationship.

Athletes, coaches, masseurs, referees

A part-time association activity is deemed to exist if the time spent in the main occupation predominates. If the association activity requires more time, but more is earned in the main occupation, then the association activity is a secondary occupation despite the predominant time requirement. Retired and unemployed persons do not have a main job, so that the association activity is always full-time.
The travel allowance depends on the number of days of the association’s activity. The upper limit is € 540 per month and € 60 per day (from 1.1.2010). The association must provide proof of the association activity. A person can only claim the lump sum from one association, even if he/she works for several associations.
Travel allowances exceeding the (free) amount of € 540 are taxable. For team sports, the tax is withheld by the club and paid to the tax office; for individual sports and referees, the recipient is responsible for taxation.

Amounts above € 540 per month are subject to social security contributions. The recipient (with the exception of referees) must be registered as a (marginal) employee with the regional health insurance fund and deregistered when the activity ends.

We will be happy to provide you with a sample for documenting the payment of lump-sum expense allowances. Please contact our expert Jessica Ghahramani-Hofer at telephone number 05 9798.


It also works without – and without any paper at all! We don’t need your paper receipts. Simply deliver them digitally! Benefit from our client portal My.HoferLeitinger: We link the booking line and the receipt – automatically, electronically, traceable at any time. We post weekly, so you always have an up-to-date overview of your outstanding accounts. Would you also like us to take care of your dunning and payment transactions? We would be happy to do so.

Use our online time recording and travel expense accounting or AVISO messages – no matter where you are.

You are specialized –

so we are!

And that is when it comes to the affairs of athletes, artists and models as well as influencers:

Sportsmen & Sportswomen

  • Professional athletes
  • Professional teams
  • Amateur athletes
  • Individual and team sports
  • Clubs

Artists, Models & Influencers

  • Visual Artists
  • Performing artists
  • Models
  • Clubs
  • Influencers
  • Content Creators

Do you have

Geel free to ask!
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