Ritchie will be angry

George Osborne has granted a tax amnesty to overseas athletes competing in this summer’s London Grand Prix in the Olympic Stadium to ensure that Usain Bolt takes centre stage on the anniversary of the Olympic opening ceremony.

The background is that if you\’re an athlete (and certain musicians etc) then if you perform in the UK the UK will tax you not just on the money you earn from the event but on a portion of your worldwide earnings for the year.

Approximately, but not exactly, if you have 15 competitions in the year and one of them is in the UK then they\’d like tax on 1 15 th of your global income. All the product endorsements etc. Whether those contracts have anything at all to do with the UK or not.

What amuses though is that Ritchie insists that people don\’t change their behaviour in view of tax rates. But that an amnesty of this type is considered necessary shows that they do. Without it Bolt just wouldn\’t turn up. And refusing to compete in a country because of the tax rates is indeed changing your behaviour over tax rates.

7 thoughts on “Ritchie will be angry”

  1. Athletes were let off paying the tax for the olympics as well. Even though they didn’t earn anything in the Olympics itself, they would have still been taxes on a percentage of their worldwide earnings. I think I remember that correctly, ISTBC

  2. Strictly speaking, that an amnesty if this type is considered necessary only shows that Gideon believes that people change behaviour in view of tax rates.

    I think most here would agree that it’s pretty obvious they do from first principles and a casual analysis of the real world (however boring that is compared to righteous pontification on justice) but a government’s perception that a behaviour really happens is, by itself, no more evidence than a retired accountant’s perception that it does not

  3. One of Blair/Brown’s attempts at extra-territorial jurisdiction – “we can tax you on your overseas earnings if you set foot on a UK race-track” – while exempting Labour-Party-donor Bernie Ecclestone’s F1from a banon tobacco advertisements.
    Osborne has run a whole series of exemptions to effectively abandon it without setting himself up for the vituperation from Murphy and the Grauniad which he would get it he formally renounced taxing millionaire sportsmen on income that had nothing whatsoever to do with the UK.

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