Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday, 18 March 2004

High Court tax judgement has major implications for international sports stars and entertainers

The High Court has ruled against tennis star Andre Agassi in his claim that sponsorship income he received was not liable to UK tax. The funds are paid by a German company to Agassi's US-registered company, but Special Tax Commissioners judged that the Inland Revenue had a valid claim ( because of the Wimbledon connection) and this view is what has been upheld in the High Court. This Scotsman article goes into a great deal of detail about some of those it may affect.

I am not clear how the UK policy (old and new) compares with those of other major jurisdictions although I recall that a few years ago tennis star Boris Becker was fined heavily by a German court for tax evasion. It does not sound as if the ruling on Agassi implies anything specifically dishonest, though, merely a reinterpretation of regulations. The real question to me is, is there any risk of this ruling discouraging various of those potentially affected from performing in the UK? Probably the risks are minor, but I hope it isn't yet another example of a Labour government stifling enterprise in the name of 'equality' by rounding-down (i.e. 'socialism').

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