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HMRC Increases Number Of Investigations Into Footballer Tax Avoidance

Image Rights Arrangements In All Sports Under Close Scrutiny Says Lawyer

22.01.2019

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

HMRC has released updated investigation data in relation to football clubs, players and agents and their treatment of tax, particularly around image rights.

According to ITV News, HMRC is now looking into the financial affairs of 173 players, 40 clubs and 38 agents, as it claws back £355 million from the sport.

These latest figures show an increase in the number of players and agents under investigation but fewer clubs.

In October, HMRC was investigating 171 players, 44 clubs and 31 agents.

A spokesman for HMRC said: “HMRC is successfully tackling tax risks in the football industry, including Image Rights and Agent Fees and has brought in £355m in additional revenue from compliance activities since 2015.”

Expert Opinion
“It is therefore clear that the tax treatment of players, agents, clubs and the relationships they have, particularly around image rights continues to be a priority of the HMRC and as such individuals and clubs in that space should be aware and urged to take steps to get their ‘houses’ in order.

“Although this data centres around football clubs, any sports club or player that has issues around image rights or how agents are paid should be aware of the HMRC efforts in this space.”
Craig Weston, Barrister

A detailed article on the issues that football clubs need to be aware of in this area is available for downloading here.