HMRC targets footballers’ image rights

THE TAXMAN IS set to sign a multi-million pound agreement with the Premier League over tax owed by footballers for their image rights.

The Daily Mail has reported that image rights for footballers could be outlawed under the settlement. Any player with an offshore account will be charged for all the taxes owed over the past eight years, while those with British accounts will be dealt with more leniently, the report claims.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Birmingham City are the only clubs to have confirmed they are in talks.

United have already confirmed that any tax owed for the rights would be paid by the players, which Chelsea are also considering.

Under image rights deals, the club pays money to companies set up by players for images used by the club for commercial benefits. The player’s company then pays corporation tax rates and not tax on earnings.

An HMRC source told the Mail: “We have footballers’ image rights very much in our sights. We’ve had enough of people flouting the rules.

“A proportion of income set aside as image rights is fair enough – perhaps between 10-20%. When it gets beyond that to 25-30% of salary, it’s for the employer to prove the figures are justified.”


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