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SBD Global/July 19, 2012/Olympics

Four Of London Olympics Biggest Sponsors Decline Tax Break

Four of the London Olympics biggest-name sponsors "publicly waived the right to use U.K. tax breaks handed to them when London won the right to stage the Games," according to Goodley, Moulds & Rogers of the London GUARDIAN. McDonald's and Coca-Cola said that they will decline relief handed to the 11 "worldwide" sponsors of the Games, meaning profits made from the Olympic Park will be taxed. G.E. said it would not apply for the tax break. Visa also said that all its earnings from the Games would be subject to U.K. corporation tax. McDonald's and Coca-Cola said they "had always intended to waive their rights to a tax break." G.E. said: "All projects associated with our Olympic sponsorship have been undertaken through G.E.'s U.K. companies and so are subject to normal U.K. tax rules." In its statement, Visa said: "All fees from all Visa transactions in the U.K., including earnings from the Games, are subject to U.K. corporation tax in the normal way and are not subject to any special treatment because of our status as an Olympic sponsor." Tax rules ushered in as part of London's bid to host the Games mean the Olympic site has become the world's latest, albeit temporary, tax haven. The rules mean so-called partner organizations could pay no tax at all on their earnings from the Games (GUARDIAN, 7/18).
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