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Sick and injured sportspersons testimonials

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ATT has warned that HMRC proposals to tax all income from sporting testimonials and benefit matches could adversely affect certain individuals and is calling for the complete exemption from income tax and NICs on such receipts for sportspersons whose careers have been prematurely cut short.   

Currently, all public donations received by the sports-person in testimonials or benefit matches are free of income tax and NIC if arranged by an independent committee. However, HMRC believe this treatment no longer reflects the modern world of sport and intends to subject all such payments to income tax and national insurance subject to a limited exemption.

Paul Hill, chairman of the ATT’s technical steering committee said: ‘If HMRC is intent on taxing testimonial donations, then we welcome the introduction of an exemption. Subject to it being set at the right level, that should protect the payments made to the many sportspeople who are on very significantly lower levels of pay than the headline-grabbing amounts paid to elite professionals.

‘However, we are keen to see certain situations removed from the tax system altogether. In particular, where careers have been cut short prematurely due to injury or ill-health we believe there should be a complete exception from any tax or NIC liability.’

For HMRC’s consultation Tax Treatment of Income from Sporting Testimonials – Proposals for Legislation, see, and responses close on 2 September.

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