Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taxman chases football stars for 100m | Premier League

Robert Watts & , : {}

THEY consequence hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, display off their skills in packaged stadiums and in front of a worldwide assembly of millions.

Now the gilded lifestyles of Premier League footballers are underneath conflict from a new set of opponents a group of modestly paid polite servants formed in a prosy bureau retard in the West Midlands.

Some twenty taxation inspectors from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) special polite investigations section in Solihull are essay to tip players who embrace piece of their income from their clubs in lapse for picture rights.

The arrangements have until right away authorised players legally to equivocate profitable an estimated �100m a year in tax.

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The letters suggest the players that their affairs are being investigated and that they might need to palm over copies of accounts, contracts, profits and alternative papers to the Revenue.

Their agents have cried foul. Many of these arrangements have been in place for years and unexpected the Revenue has got a complaint with them, pronounced one agent, who represents a player who perceived one of the letters prior to long prior to Christmas.

This is a Revenue fishing speed the about raising money.

Clubs proposed profitable most players piece of their gain as picture rights during the 1990s. These payments pronounced to describe to any of the players off-field earnings, such as reproduction shirt sales, endorsements and promotional work are routinely paid to use companies owned by the player.

The organisation of the Manchester United player Michael Owen is well known as Owen Promotions; that of Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool star, is called Steven Gerrard Promotions.

Other obvious players with these companies embody Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Joe Cole.

Because the picture rights payments are done to a association rather than an individual, they are theme to house taxation levied at 21% or 28%, rather than National Insurance and income taxation now paid at up to 40%, but with a new tip rate of 50% from April.

If the player is from overseas, his use association is formed offshore, mostly in the Netherlands or the British Virgin Islands, permitting the star to equivocate even some-more UK tax.

The sums paid by clubs to players in picture rights can be vast. A justice not long ago listened that Wayne Rooney, who plays for Manchester United, was paid �760,000 a year for his picture rights.

Last year it emerged that Joey Barton, the Newcastle United midfielder who was since a dangling prison judgment for assault, was paid �675,000 a year for his picture rights by the club.

Frank Lampard, the Chelsea midfielder, additionally receives images rights as piece of his gain from the club.

Last week Lampards representative pronounced the agreement complied with taxation manners and that all applicable support had been filed with the authorities. He would not plead possibly Lampard had perceived one of the Revenues letters.

Earlier this year Manchester United, Britains richest club, suggested it was in lawsuit with HMRC per picture rights over �5.3m of tax, observant the Revenues perspective was that picture rights might be a form of arrangement and, as such, should be taxed as income.

Vantis, an accountancy organisation that acts for countless clubs and players, pronounced the picture rights deals of all Premier League clubs were being looked at by the Revenue.

Nine days ago member from Premier League clubs met in London to plead ways to reply to HMRCs attack on these compensate deals. One choice discussed was to extent the volume of a players income that could be paid in this approach to 15%.

Accountants and agents contend that usually in the past couple of months have HMRC officials started essay to the players. Such investigations can last up to dual years.

If the Revenue decides the picture rights understanding constitutes taxation avoidance, possibly the player or the bar could be probable for a outrageous taxation bill, depending on how the stipulate is worded.

A comparison Revenue source reliable that all picture rights deals of Premier League players would be scrutinised as piece of the investigation. Those players with such arrangements who had not perceived a minute so far could design one prior to long, he said.


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