UK – Increased numbers of footballers under investigation by the tax authorities
It was recently revealed that the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is looking into the financial affairs of 173 football players, 40 clubs and 38 agents in the UK, as it claws back of £ 355.000.000 from the football sport.
The focus on football came after the 2017 budget, when all businesses were instructed to change “image rights” payments to their employees. Image rights are extensively used in the football sport by clubs and players to avoid paying employment taxes.
For example, clubs can pay a player’s “image rights” as part of their wages and then they would be liable for a 19% corporation tax rate rather than 45% tax rate as an employee. In this manner a tax saving of £ 26,000 is realized on every £ 100,000.
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury said: “HMRC is clear that everyone must pay what they owe under the law – regardless of their wealth or status. The department’s work in the football industry is the latest demonstration of this ongoing effort and we look forward to continued cooperation with clubs and players throughout 2019.”