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SBD Global/August 15, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Usain Bolt Will Not Race In The U.K. Until Tax Laws Are Changed

Six-time Olympic Gold Medal winner Usain Bolt "has refused to compete" in the U.K. again until the country changes its tax laws, according to Andrew Trotman of the London TELEGRAPH. The sprinter "objects to a law that sees him taxed on global sponsorship and endorsement earnings as well as any appearance fee -- levied at the 50% higher earning rate -- when he competes in Britain." Bolt, who makes an estimated $20M annually, said that his U.K. fans will not see him compete until the tax laws are changed. Bolt: "As soon as the law changes, I'll be here all the time. I love being here, I have so many Jamaican fans here and it's wonderful." Deloitte partner Glyn Bunting said that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs would "not only want a slice of Bolt's winnings in the U.K. but also his £12.5M ($19.6M) sponsorship deal with Puma." Bunting said, "Usain Bolt will be paid a considerable amount of money to wear a particular brand of clothing or a particular type of racing shoe, and HMRC wants its share of that income." The 25-year-old only agreed to race in the Olympics after HMRC announced a tax amnesty for competitors (TELEGRAPH, 8/14).
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