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The BV World Cup Quiz

For some people, football is trivial; to others it’s the only thing happening this month! To celebrate the FIFA World Cup, we’re bringing you the BV football quiz, filled with interesting facts on the teams playing.

Q20: Which country offered tax breaks to FIFA in return for hosting the World Cup?

A: All of them!

FIFA requires bids to host the World Cup to include massive tax exemptions for the association. Germany offered FIFA an estimated $272 million in tax exemptions when it hosted the 2006 World Cup, with South Africa and Brazil following suit in 2010 and 2014, respectively. The agreements establish tax-free zones for the World Cup venues, with FIFA’s corporate partners being exempt from income and sales taxes.

Q19: Which WorldCup country used to tax salt?

A: France

La gabelle was an extremely unpopular tax on salt that affected all French citizens, which was brought in during the mid 14th century and lasted until the mid twentieth century. It was repealed during the French Revolution but reinstated by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Q18: Which country gave tax breaks for bribery until 1999?

A: Germany

In 1999, Germany outlawed tax breaks on the bribery of foreign officials. Before then, although bribery was illegal, it was tax deductible. There was a catch, however: the taxman could demand details of the recipient as theoretically, at least, he could be required to pay tax on the money received. He must then hope that the taxman would not pass on his details to the police.

Q17: Baby names have to be approved by the tax agency in which country?

A: Sweden

The Swedish Namnlagen (naming law) requires approval of the Swedish Tax Agency for names to be given to Swedish children. The parents must submit the proposed name of a child within three months of birth. Names rejected by the agency include Q, Allah, Michael Jackson and Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (the latter – pronounced Albin – being the subject of a lengthy dispute between the parents and authorities).

Q16: Which country recently proposed a flatulence tax?

A: Denmark

The methane released by cows’ digestive systems may account for up to 16% of the world’s greenhouse gases. In 2018, the Danish Environmental Economics Council has proposed a tax of 2280 kroner ( £270 per cow) as part of the country’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.

Q15: Tax payers in which country can get a tax reduction if they donate art or artefacts for the benefit of the public?

A: England

The Cultural Gifts Scheme enables UK taxpayers to donate important works of art and other cultural objects for the benefit of the public or the nation, whilst receiving a tax reduction based on a set percentage of the value of the gift being made.

Q14: Which #WorldCup country is targeting large US tech companies with a so-called ‘Google tax’?

A: France

During last year’s French presidential election campaign, Emmanuel Macron argued that tech companies’ low tax rates were a source of resentment about globalisation and unfair for European companies. He wants big tech companies to pay a digital tax to put them on a level-playing field with their bricks-and-mortar rivals.

Q13: Which World Cup country has the most World Heritage sites?

A: Spain

Third only to Italy and China, Spain is home to 46 heritage sites, from Paleolithic cave paintings to the 20th century architectural works of Antonio Gaudi in Catalonia.

Q12: Which country introduced VAT for the first time in 2018?

A: Saudi Arabia

On 1 January 2018, Saudi Arabia introduced 5% value added tax on many goods and services, in an attempt to boost non-oil income and offset low oil prices. The introduction of VAT ended decades of tax-free living for residents and businesses.

Q11: Which country charges 150% tax on new cars that cost over £20,000?

A: Denmark

As part of their commitment to reducing greenhouse gases, the Danish have placed a 150% tax on petrol and diesel cars costing above 185,000 kroner (c. £21,000) and 85% for cars below that value.

Q10: Which of the countries in the World Cup has the highest yearly rainfall?

A: Costa Rica

Costa Rica has the fourth highest average yearly precipitation, behind Sao Tome and Principe, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Costa Ricans have at least a dozen terms for rain, from drizzly pelo de gato (cat hair) to a baldazo (literally a bucketful) or aguacero (downpour) and a temporal (heavy rain falling for several days without letting up during the rainy season). It rains zapos y ranas (toads and frogs) rather than cats and dogs!

Q9: Which country charges a ‘sun tax’ on energy produced by solar panels?

A: Spain

Energy laws in Spain mean that solar panel owners have to pay the grid fees that all electricity consumers in Spain pay, plus a so-called ‘sun tax’ for the power distributed to the grid and for the electricity generated and self-consumed.

Q8: How many World Cup teams have stars on their flags?

A: Six: Morocco, Australia, Brazil, Panama, Tunisia and Senegal

Q7: Artists in which country can pay taxes with their own artwork?

A: Mexico

More than 700 artists across Mexico take part in a Pago en Especie (Payment in Kind) program – the only one of its type in the world – that allows artists to pay federal income taxes with their own artwork.

Q6: Which country imposes a ‘dry law’ prohibiting the consumption of alcohol during major events such as elections and the World Cup?

A: Colombia

Local government in Colombia periodically imposes a ‘dry law’ during major events such as World Cup matches and elections, prohibiting alcohol consumption in order to stem public violence.

Q5: Which World Cup country is home to the most billionaires?

A: Germany

Germany has the fourth largest number of billionaires in the world, with 114 in residence. The top three (USA with 585, China with 476 and India with 131) are not playing in the World Cup.

Q4: In which country was the first to introduce tax?

A: Egypt

The first known system of taxation was in Ancient Egypt. Although a cashless society, the economy relied on agriculture and barter. Oil, beer, ceramics, livestock, and every other kind of commodity were taxed, but the most important was the tax on grain as it could be traded with other countries or stored in case of drought or bad harvests.

Q3: Which country is named after a precious metal?

A: Argentina

The name Argentina comes from the Latin term ‘argentum’, meaning silver, and can be traced back to the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors of the 16th century.

Q2: The ruler of which country imposed a tax on beards in the 17th century?

A: Russia

In 1698, Peter the Great of Russia imposed a tax on beards as part of sweeping reforms to modernise Russian society and bring it in line with Western Europe. The Tsar empowered the police to forcibly shave anyone who did not have a beard license. The amount of tax levied depended upon the status of the bearded man, who had to carry a copper or silver “beard token” to prove he had paid the tax. One version of the token read “the beard is a superfluous burden”.

Q1: Which country is the leading exporter of billiard balls?

A: Belgium

Over 80% of the world’s billiards players play with billiard balls produced in Belgium. From its premises in a tiny village called Callenelle in Western Belgium, Saluc SA produces billiard balls under the registered trademark Aramith and distributes them to more than 85 countries.

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