Tax benefits for athletes

Find out which tax benefits are available to athletes

In the income tax system, there are a number of non-taxable athletes’ receipts, provided that the payers of these receipts are from the sports system or, under certain circumstances, state administration bodies or local authorities.

Non-taxable receipts can be those:
  • Which are not considered income pursuant to Article 8(1)(3) of the Income Tax Act (Official Gazette no. 115/16)
  • For which income tax is not paid; that is, to which tax exemption is applicable pursuant to Article 9(1)(16) and (17) of the Income Tax Act.

Awards and rewards which are not considered income

Pursuant to the Income Tax Act (OG no. 115/16), certain awards and rewards are not considered income and are thus not subject to payment of income tax, regardless of their amount. These are:
  • Franjo Bučar State Award for Sport
  • Rewards received from units of local and regional self-government which are prescribed by their statutes and paid from budgetary funds of units of local and regional self-government
  • Financial rewards for top-level sporting achievements prescribed by the Ordinance on the Criteria for State Awards for Top-Level Sporting Achievements (OG no. 111/12 and 134/12).

Rewards for which income tax is not payable

Rewards for sporting achievements pursuant to special regulations defined by Article 9(1)(17) of the Income Tax Act, which prescribes that receipts from rewards for sporting achievements are not taxed below the prescribed amount (2.654,46 EUR a year). These rewards can be paid by the Croatian Olympic Committee, Croatian Paralympic Committee and Croatian Deaf Sports Association, national and sports associations at the level of cities and counties as well as sports communities in cities and counties and sports clubs.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance (Article 3(9) and (10)), non-taxable awards and rewards are considered those which are defined by the Ordinance on Classification of Athletes and Ordinance on the Criteria for Awards and Rewards to Athletes for Sporting Achievements (OG 46/14 and 9/17).

Sports scholarships for which income tax is not payable

Sports scholarships include:
  • Olympic scholarships awarded to athletes who qualified to compete at the Olympics, which qualification is prescribed by the appropriate international sports association for a particular sport and particular discipline included in the Olympics
  • Scholarships awarded to classified athletes.
For this purpose, athletes are classified pursuant to the Ordinance on Classification of Athletes which is adopted by the Croatian Olympic Committee. Scholarships are given by the Croatian Olympic Committee, county and city sports communities (which often do not require the term “community” in their name) and sports clubs. In accordance with the Sports Act, scholarships are also granted by the Croatian Paralympic Committee and Croatian Deaf Sports Association.

Since athlete classification is a precondition to win a sports scholarship and since each of the previously mentioned legal persons may grant it, athletes can even be awarded several sports scholarships.

Student scholarships

Only full-time students of primary and secondary schools, polytechnics and universities can be awarded scholarships.

Non-taxable sports scholarships and student scholarships are not mutually exclusive.

Compensation to amateur athletes for which income tax is not payable

Pursuant to the Sports Act, compensations to athletes include compensation for travel expenses, compensation for room and board during competitions and camps and compensation for special diets. Non-taxable monthly amount of this compensation amounts to 232,26 EUR.

Non-taxable compensation to athletes

A sports association can provide a classified amateur athlete with certain compensation and aid. Non-taxable compensation to an amateur athlete may amount to up to 232,26 EUR a month.
To find out more detailed information about tax benefits for athletes, visit the Documents section or the website of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport
Tax benefits for athletes.