The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed amendments to the Sports Industry Development Act (運動產業發展條例) to grant subsidies and tax deductions to people who help further the advancement of the sports industry.
With the passage of the amendments, e-sports has been made an official sports category managed by the central government and is eligible for subsidies by government agencies at all levels.
The amendments allow tax deductions to be filed for expenditures associated with for- profit organizations donating to sports organizations registered with the government; cultivating or supporting athletes or sports teams; organizing sporting events attended by employees; donating sports or exercise equipment to government agencies or schools; and purchasing tickets to domestic sporting events and giving the tickets to disadvantaged people or students via charity organizations or sports.
They also stipulate there is to be no ceiling on such tax deductions.
The Ministry of Education, the central governing agency for sports, is to create dedicated accounts for public donations to give to athletes.
People who make cash donations via the dedicated accounts, but do not specify which athlete the donation is for, are to be considered as making donations to the government, with such donations listed as income tax deductions.
People donating to specific athletes through the dedicated accounts are to receive tax deductions as those who make cash donations to educational, cultural, public interest or charity organizations, which have a ceiling of 20 percent of their yearly income.
To promote development in sports, government agencies and state-run enterprises can invest in sports teams in accordance with the nation’s sports policy and development goals as long as government-owned shares do not exceed 50 percent, the amended act stipulates.
Numerous changes were introduced to conditions under which the ministry can provide guidance or subsidies to operators in the sports industry.
People eligible for subsidies include those who engage in cross-industry collaboration on providing innovative sports-related products or services; establish a brand overseas; apply information technology when boosting the competitiveness of the sports sector; boost the viewership of major international sporting events; subsidize interest payments from the sports sector; or offer the sports sector credit.
Under the amendments, the ministry can subsidize, continuously or sporadically, athletes on national sports teams or those hired by private establishments up to 30 percent of their yearly salaries per year for a maximum of five years.
Workers in the sports industry who have documented professional experience, special talents or achievements and are suited to coaching can be hired as coaches according to Article 17-4 of the University Act (大學法) or Article 24-2 of the Junior College Act (專科學校法) without having to meet educational requirements, the amended act stipulates.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) said the amendments have provided a legal basis for public-sector participation in the sports industry, which would allow the public sector to take the lead in financing the industry.
With local governments now able to invest in sports teams, it would also help make for a more location-based sports environment, bringing about constructive competition among cities and counties, Huang said.
The scope of the sports industry has also become more comprehensive with the inclusion of e-sports and the sports economy, he added.
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