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Payments to football agents - what clubs & players need to know about HMRC's new guidance

Payments to football agents - what clubs & players need to know about HMRC's new guidance
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 By Michelle Sloane, Alexis Armitage

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has released new formal guidance on how it will treat payments made to agents in the football industry.  No longer is a 50:50 split going to be regarded as automatically acceptable.  HMRC will be looking at each matter on a purely case-by-case basis. 

This article reviews the new guidance, looking at:

  • Background
  • HMRC's new guidance
  • What records should be kept by the club, agent and/or player?
  • What are the risk indicators or factors that HMRC will look out for?
  • What does HMRC's new guidance mean for affected clubs, agents and/or players?
  • What action should be taken by clubs, agents and players?
  • What are the possible consequences of non-compliance?

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Written by

Michelle Sloane

Michelle Sloane

Michelle Sloane is a Partner in RPC's Tax Disputes, Regulatory and Financial Crime team.

Michelle advises both corporates and individuals in respect of investigations by regulators. Michelle has particular expertise in relation to tax disputes including complex tax enquiries, tax assessments and criminal investigations. Michelle has in-depth experience of handling HMRC investigations into the sports industry, including in respect of image rights and agency fees. Michelle has conducted high value tax appeals at all levels including before the Tax Tribunals, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union. Her expertise includes Judicial Review proceedings scrutinising the conduct of regulators. Michelle also assists clients manage urgent issues such as "dawn raids".

Before moving to the UK in 2006, Michelle worked for the New Zealand government as a tax investigator and legal adviser to the tax investigations team where she gained valuable insight into the decision making process of revenue authorities

Alexis Armitage

Alexis Armitage

Alexis is an Associate in RPC's Tax Disputes team.

Alexis advises a range of individual and corporate clients on a broad range of contentious tax issues involving both direct and indirect taxes - from managing HMRC enquiries and information notices, through to hearings in the Tax Tribunals and higher courts.

Alexis has particular expertise in running and managing group litigation in respect of both individuals and corporates and dealing with complex HMRC enquiries. 

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