Top 12 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 12 strangest tax laws around the world.

11. South Africa: World Cup tax bubble

Bernat Armangue/AP
Spain's Andres Iniesta, center, holds up the World Cup trophy following the World Cup final soccer match between the Netherlands and Spain in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, July 11.

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 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The BBC reported in 2010 that as part of bidding for the World Cup, host countries must agree to exempt FIFA, the organization 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 R33 billion--nearly £3 billion [$4.9 billion]. This also applies to the various organizations 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, but South Africa is the most recent example. 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 or $2.8 billion) in the four years up to and including the competition, yet paid only one million Swiss Francs (£613,500 or over $1 million) in local taxes.

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