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SBD Global/July 8, 2013/Finance

U.K. To Speed Tax Breaks For Athletes When They Compete In Great Britain

Int'l sports stars such as Novak Djokovic, Tiger Woods and Usain Bolt "could benefit from fast-track tax exemptions when they compete in the U.K., under legislation being drawn up by ministers," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Primary legislation on major sports events "is being planned that would allow the culture secretary to sign an order modifying a U.K. regulation if it would help attract big stars." Sports bodies have long argued the U.K.’s tax laws "make leading sports stars reluctant to play in certain events." They "have to make their case for exemption on an ad hoc basis to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which then has to persuade the Treasury to waive the tax requirements." U.K. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said that his department "was prioritising the proposed legislation and expected time to be allocated in the next session of parliament for the bill." Robertson said, "International federations are getting increasingly demanding in terms of what they want from host nations. It would be much easier if we had a framework Act that would drive through this." Among areas being looked at "are tax exemptions for sports stars, fast-track visas, security provisions and ticket-tout bans" (FT, 7/5).
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