HMRC investigates tax affairs of over 200 footballers
Up to 248 footballers are being investigated by HMRC regarding their 2019-2020 tax affairs, said accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young on Monday.
Footballers and their image rights are coming under increasing scrutiny as some use legal loopholes in the way to get paid for image rights to avoid higher taxes.
Image rights allow a club to use the name and the likeness of a player to market and sell the club’s wares and those of their sponsors but the image rights are levied differently to the regular salary of the players.
Players wages are levied with a 45% income tax charge whereas image rights are taxed at the 19% corporation tax rate.
Elliot Buss, a partner at UHY Hacker Young says: “HMRC believes that lots of lesser-known footballers are effectively avoiding tax by getting paid huge sums for image rights that HMRC views as overpriced.
“The image rights of the likes of Paul Pogba and Mohamed Salah are undoubtedly worth millions of pounds a year.
"However, if you are second-choice left back in the Championship getting paid a great deal in image-rights payments, then this is likely to trigger an investigation by the taxman. You may have to make a robust argument to HMRC to show how the value of the image rights has been arrived at.”