Tax exemption for Commonwealth Games

by Calum Fuller

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18 Feb 2014

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Usain Bolt after winning gold medal at London Olympic 2012 courtesy of Carly Page

AN INCOME TAX EXEMPTION will be put in place for international athletes competing in the Glasgow Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games, this year.

Currently, HMRC imposes a levy on visiting athletes' sponsorship, endorsement earnings and appearnce fees - meaning some pay more in UK tax than they would earn. The levy has had high profile opposers such as fastest man alive Usain Bolt (pictured), who has limited his UK appearances.

However, the latest announcement means that Bolt, as well as other athletes, would not have to pay the tax and paves the way for the UK to abolish the rule.

"I want to do everything to help make this summer a summer of sporting success in Scotland," said chancellor George Osborne.

"Not only is the great city of Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games, but also the Glasgow Grand Prix as well - and the UK government will do its part to make sure both are great sporting events.

"The tax exemption the Treasury is announcing will extend the cultural and economic contribution that the Games will bring. It will also ensure Scotland continues to attract the highest standard of athletes."

Part of the IAAF Diamond League - an annual series of athletic meetings which take place internationally - the Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix will be held in Scotland for the first time this year.

The change of location is to coincide with the Commonwealth Games and will see Scotland play host to some of the world's best athletes, who will compete in Scotland twice this summer.

In a departure from the usual format of one day, the Glasgow Grand Prix will now be held over two days andalso see para-athletes competing.

The exemptions will allow Scotland and the wider UK to "maximise" the benefits the games will bring, the chancellor has claimed.

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