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Wednesday 1, February

Brutto? Netto? Adios! Isco almost joins Union Berlin

Transfer deadline day almost saw Berlin's expat community get a new, high-profile addition in Spanish footballer Isco. Unfortunately, it came down to Brutto vs Netto.

Isco: a cautionary tale for Berlin taxes. Photo: IMAGO / Shutterstock

Wednesday 01, February

On Wednesday, there were 551 new Covid-19 infections reported in Berlin. The seven-day incidence currently stands at 57.5 cases per 100,000 people.

He’d passed the medical, but failed to check the tax

Berlin’s expat community almost got a high-profile addition last night, but it failed at the final hurdle due to the confusions of the German tax system. Everything had been agreed for the Spanish footballer and Champions League winner Isco to make the transfer to FC Union Berlin from Spain’s Sevilla FC. He was in the city, he passed the medical, contracts were about to be signed – but at the last moment the two parties suddenly came to the realisation they hadn’t been discussing the same numbers, and it all came down to the difference between Brutto and Netto

According to Union club legend Torsten Mattuschka, the German club had been talking about Isco’s potential salary as the gross Brutto amount of, let’s say, 2 million. Isco thought he was getting the net total: that is 2 million Netto. In fact, this would only have been the amount pre-tax. Isco didn’t fancy that, and so he jumped back on his private jet and flew back to Spain. Schade!