So, revenues fell

So, revenues fell

Some of Norway’s biggest cross-country skiing stars saw incomes drop significantly in the WC in 2021, according to comparison figures published Wednesday morning.

According to the tax rolls, Johannes Hosflotte Klabo’s income increased from NOK 2.7 million in 2019 and NOK 3.4 million in 2020 to NOK 1.6 million in 2021. However, his wealth has increased from just over 9 million to 13 million crowns.

Therese Johaug’s income decreased from 5.6 million in 2019 and 5.7 million in 2020 to 4.4 million in 2021. Johaug’s fortune of 53 million is the same in 2021 as the year before.

Heidi Wing was listed with an income of 1.6 million in 2019, but in 2020 and 2021 the figures were 483,000 and 534,000, respectively. However, her fortune increased from 9.5 to 10.6 million kronor.

The Fall: Heidi Wing is listed with less income in 2021 than in 2020 tax filings. Photo: Bjørn Langsem/Dagbladet
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Emil Iversen had an income of 2.2 million in 2019, but in 2020 and 2021 the numbers were respectively 378,000 and 654,000 according to the tax rolls. However, Iversen has doubled his wealth from NOK 1.5 to NOK 3 million.

Holland is breaking the trend

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg also earned 2 million in 2019, and 1.8 million in 2020, but in 2021 tax figures show 554,000 in income. As is well known, the Gjøvik girl has had severe amputations and has participated in an unusually few ski races in recent seasons due to dietary challenges. The assets of 17 million are the same as in the previous year.

The one who went in the opposite direction – that is, increased income according to the tax rolls – is Hans Christer Holland. In 2019 – when he became world champion in the $5,000 race in Seefeld – he earned exactly one million kroner. In 2020 it increased to 2.8 million, and in 2021 the numbers show 3.7 million. He also increased his assets from NOK 9.1 to NOK 11.7 million.

Current World Cup leader Tyrrell Odnes Wing is also included with an income of NOK 343,000 last year. The 2022/23 season is likely to be even more lucrative for the versatile girl in the manager’s yellow jersey.

all by herself: Heidi Wing does not look back on all aspects of her career with pleasure. Video: Lucas/Godot. Clip: NRK
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Explanations of low income

But why are so many cross-country skiers experiencing lower incomes in 2021 according to tax filings?

One aspect is that Norwegian cross-country skiing as a team stands above the income-generating Tour de Ski in 2020/21 and many ski races in the covid-covid season. Another aspect is the linked chart “running fund” with which the Norwegian Ski Association works.

Prize money from ski racing can be leveraged through the Athlete Scholarship, which is a financing solution that means the athlete avoids paying taxes for the year in question.

– Many of our athletes choose to use the “running box”. It offers security, and it’s better in tax terms to be able to afford it over several years (tax equalization), Mats Neicetter, head of finance at the Norwegian Ski Association, tells Dagbladet.

In this way, the athlete can spread the income over several years, if he so desires. It’s a sure thing if an athlete does very well one year and gets injured another year. Practically speaking, you can then set aside your income as a buffer to deal with potential bad years.

Athletes can also tie prize money to related expenses directly related to the sport – thus avoiding taxes. Examples of this are private training sessions, equipment and staying at an altitude beyond what is offered by the Ski Association.

In addition, some athletes have set up their own limited companies, such as Klæbo and Johaug. Income from joint stock companies does not necessarily appear in tax numbers.

The athletes themselves choose which account they want to pay from the runner’s fund account. It may, for example, be associated with a limited company.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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