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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Usain Bolt won't compete in UK due to tax laws

Usain Bolt won't compete in UK due to tax laws

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1 Usain Bolt won't compete in UK due to tax laws on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:58 pm

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/9475125/Usain-Bolt-refuses-to-race-in-UK-until-tax-laws-are-changed.html

Usain Bolt refuses to race in UK until tax laws are changed

By Andrew Trotman
UK Telegraph
12 August 2012


Triple London 2012 Olympic champion Usain Bolt has refused to compete in the UK again until the country changes its tax laws.

The sprinter, who won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Games in London, objects to a law that sees him taxed on global sponsorship and endorsement earnings as well as any appearance fee - levied at the 50pc higher earning rate - when he competes in Britain.

And despite setting a new world record during the Olympics, the 25 year-old, who earns an estimated $20m (£12.7m) a year, says his UK-based fans won't see him compete until the tax laws are loosened.
“As soon as the law changes I'll be here all the time," Bolt said. "I love being here, I have so many Jamaican fans here and it's wonderful."
Glyn Bunting, a partner at Deloitte, told Radio 4 that HMRC would not only want a slice of Bolt's winnings in the UK but also his £12.5m sponsorship deal with Puma.

"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," Mr Bunting said.

Bolt had not raced in the UK for three years prior to this year's Olympics. He only agreed to run in London after HMRC announced a tax amnesty for competitors.

In 2010 Bolt pulled out of the Aviva London Grand Prix because of his stance on UK tax, instead deciding to compete in Paris - for which he was paid $250,000.

His agent, Ricky Simms, said at the time that British tax law "has kept a lot of the big stars in other sports away from Britain".

Tennis star Rafa Nadal pulled out of this year's Aegon Championship at Queen's Club due to the UK's tax demands. He opted to compete in the Gerry Weber Open at Halle in Germany, where he received a reported £750,000.

"The truth is, in the UK you have a big regime for tax, it's not about the money for playing," Nadal said last year. "They [HMRC] take from the sponsors, from Babolat, from Nike and from my watches. This is very difficult. I am playing in the UK and losing money. I did a lot more for the last four years, but it is more and more difficult to play in the UK."
A spokesperson for the HMRC told the Telegraph: "The Government put in place a tax exemption so that non-resident Olympic and Paralympic athletes would not pay UK tax on their income from Olympic and Paralympic appearances.

"Any tax on other UK income such athletes receive can in most cases be set off against tax paid in their home country."
 

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