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HMRC clamp down on footballers in tax abuse probe

Football-Pitch-Sport-Grass-700x450.jpgAlmost 200 footballers are under investigation for alleged tax abuses linked to image rights payments, the Mail on Sunday reports.

HM Revenue and Customs are reportedly looking into 198 players, 44 at Premier League level, and 29 agents.

The investigation into the football world has netted £329m extra tax for the Treasury after many clubs have settled with HMRC this year. The number of players has risen from 181 in April this year, while the number of agents has risen from 21 in the same period.

HMRC told the paper that it “carefully scrutinises” individual image rights arrangements between clubs and their players to make sure the right amount of tax is being paid in the country.

Clubs and players receive more income through image rights as they are taxed at a lower rate than money paid through PAYE, and they have an understanding with HMRC that players should not receive more than 20 per cent of their pay through image rights.

HMRC confirmed it has also been conducting talks with Spanish tax authorities after high profile cases earlier this year including Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez, who agreed to a 16-month prison sentence for allegedy defrauding the Spanish treasury of €1m (£882,000).

Although the sentence given is less than two years, he will not serve any time in jail.

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  1. I thought Sanchez had been in jail these last two years he has been largely anonymous.

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