Premier League Football Clubs settle their HMRC liabilities

Football loving accountants may be interested to learn that English Premier League football clubs paid a total of £14.4 million pounds in tax at the end of the tax year 2010/11 and in doing so became the only professional league to fully satisfy HMRC.

Sportingintelligence.com discovered this news after making a freedom of information request. Out of 14 senior professional leagues in the UK, the Premier League was the only one to pay its full tax liabilities.

At the end of the 2010.11 tax year, it has been estimated that £237,052 is owing to the Revenue from Football League clubs, £161,962 from the Scottish league clubs (including the SPL) and a further £225,348 is due from the Northern Ireland Carling Premiership league clubs.

After Portsmouth FC went into administration, the Premiership told clubs to report and pay tax liabilities every three months.

Dan Johnson, the head of communications at the Premier League, said the way clubs are now governed means it is difficult for them to fall into tax arrears. He explained that sound accounting practices have been implemented to prevent clubs falling into Portsmouth style difficulties.

This is definitely a great improvement on the situation at the end of the 2009/10 tax year when the Premier League and Football League owed the taxman more than £22 million in National Insurance, PAYE and VAT.

In recent years, HMRC has become tough on professional sports clubs that fail to meet their liabilities. Football clubs Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle were served winding up orders in 2010. It’s not just football clubs either, Cambridge Rugby Club was also served with such an order at the end of September last year but supporters managed to raise enough money to save the club.

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