HMRC cracks down on footballers

FOOTBALL PLAYERS are being targeted by tax inspectors under a new HM Revenue & Customs drive to clampdown on wealthy individuals.

HMRC has been given £917m and about 2,000 inspectors in a bid to crack down on wealthy tax-evaders, including football players avoiding higher tax payments on agent fees, The Guardian reports.

A specialist team at HMRC will investigate players they suspect of using their buying club to pay their agent’s fee during transfers.

A statement from the taxman said: “HMRC are aware of a potential tax issue concerning the payment of agent fees and are taking steps to ensure the tax rules are respected.

“When a third party pays a fee to an agent acting on behalf of an employee, the fee may count as part of the employee’s taxable earnings and so be liable to tax.”

The inspectors will focus on people with a personal wealth that exceeds £2.5m. It is estimated there are 350,000 individuals in this bracket.

“We do see that HMRC is more enthusiastically checking the tax affairs of those areas of society that are tax rich, like the oil companies and certain individuals who are tax rich with large incomes,” Derek Hill, tax partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse told Sky News.

“Footballers are a prime example of that.”

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