Tax accountant claims that footballers are not tax evaders

A senior tax accountant has said that the media unfairly portrays professional footballers that take advantage of honest tax schemes to reduce their tax liability as tax evaders.

This year, accountants have heard about various tax avoidance schemes reportedly used by top British footballers and their agents. The footballers are now on a collision course with the taxman after the Treasury gave an additional £900 million to HMRC last year to stamp out tax evasion.

Last month, the head of the Professional Footballers’ Union Gordon Taylor, defended millionaire players, their agents and clubs for using tax avoidance schemes. He said footballers pay more than 50% of their salary in PAYE, and yet their average career in the top-flight will only last for eight years.

He went on to say that a lot of accountants work full-time ensuring their clients take advantage of tax avoidance schemes and reduce their overall tax liability.

Football fans that struggle to pay their mortgage and afford high season ticket prices may not be overly sympathetic to professional footballers’ tax burden, but tax accountant Kevin Kinsella recently defended them.

He said he was concerned that sports people who have used perfectly legitimate schemes to reduce their tax liability are being lumped together with tax evaders. The media is always keen to portray professional footballers in a bad light, especially in view of the high salaries they receive. But when you take into consideration the short career life span of a professional sportsperson, this is both unjust and unfair.

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