SBD/26/Finance

NBA PLAYERS NOT GIVING THANKS FOR NEW CANADIAN TAX LAWS

          U.S. citizens playing for the Raptors and Grizzlies
     have seen an increase in their income taxes, according to
     Bill Harris of the TORONTO SUN.  Raptors GM Glen Grunwald:
     "We believe it equates to a 1%-2% increase.  It's not
     insignificant amount when you consider what these guys
     make."  U.S. athletes playing for the Raptors and Grizzlies
     are taxed by both Canada and the U.S., based on their
     "source income" in each country.  In general, Canadian tax
     rates "are slightly higher" than the U.S.  When the NBA
     teams began play in '95, "team accountants were advised by
     Revenue Canada to calculate 'Canadian source income' based
     on games played," which worked out to about a 51-49 split
     between Canadian income.  But the teams have since been told
     by Revenue Canada that Canadian income should be calculated
     by "duty days," or the total number of days players spend in
     Canada during the season.  This "means about 68% of a
     player's income is being taxed at the Canadian rate, with
     only 32% at the U.S. rate."  Revenue Canada spokesperson
     Michel Cleroux: "The IRS does it exactly the same way with
     Canadians playing in the U.S."  NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter:
     "This matter could have dramatic consequences on our
     players' livelihoods" (Bill Harris, TORONTO SUN, 11/26). 

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