Overseas stars exempt from income tax for Glasgow 2014

Accountants in London are no doubt aware that overseas sports stars that take place in this year’s Olympic Games will not need to pay income tax.

In a bid to once again encourage foreign athletes to our shores, Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has announced that the same exemption will be in force for the 2014 commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Under current HMRC rules, non-resident sports stars still have to pay UK income tax on any payments they receive in connection with performances here.

In his statement Mr Alexander said he was pleased to announce the exemption for the Commonwealth Games in 2014, which will prolong the legacy of the Olympics and help carry the long-term benefits north of the border.

Everybody will want to see the top athletes competing in Glasgow and the exemption makes it more likely that this will happen. Lord Smith, the chairman of Glasgow 2014, welcomed the announcement saying top athletes such as Australia’s swimmers, Kenya’s distance runners and Jamaica’s sprinters will now be able to compete without the fear of HMRC slapping them with a hefty tax bill.

It is only the competing athletes who will receive the exemption. Their team officials and supporting personnel will be liable for UK income tax if they receive taxable income whilst they are in the UK. The exempt sports stars will of course still be liable to pay tax in the country where they live.

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