HMRC investigates nearly 200 footballers under alleged tax abuse

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has expanded its probe into football, with almost 200 footballers now under investigation for alleged tax abuse linked to image rights payments.

Tax officials are probing 198 players at 44 Premier League and Football League clubs, as well as 29 agents. The investigation has now netted an extra £329m in tax for the Treasury, with several clubs having settled with the tax man during the year.

The revenue had demanded the money from players, agents and clubs that were suspected of abusing image rights loopholes and tax-avoidance schemes.

A HMRC spokesperson commented: “HMRC carefully scrutinises the individual image rights arrangements between football clubs and their players to make sure the right tax is being paid in the UK.”

Both players and clubs net more income through image rights as they are taxed at lower rates than money paid through PAYE. HMRC and the football industry currently have an understanding that players should not receive more than 20 per cent of their pay through image rights.

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