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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Too Clever By Half
Sometimes people and organisations can be just a little bit "too clever".
HMRC and the Treasury have suffered an attack of "cleverness" which backfired on them, and recently forced them to back track on one of their cherished policies.
HMRC has now backed down from taxing foreign sport stars' global income, as a result of the very real threat of losing out in the selection to host top sports events such as Uefa Champions League Final in 2011.
Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR), told the Telegraph before the climbdown:
"There is no doubt that we are losing out on major events because of the heavy-handed way in which tax on sport is treated in this country.
In other countries, the authorities go out of their way to attract major sporting events - international and European competitions which bring in a great deal of money, local investment and prestige, as well as home advantage.
But the taxman here seems to be going out of his way to put people off."
Jane Kennedy, treasury minister, relented and told the Football Association a fortnight ago that, if Britain won the right to host Uefa, visiting players would not be taxed here.
This follows hot on the heels of a similar exception granted to the Olympics.
Which is all very well, but as Mike Warburton told The Telegraph:
"What we need is a clear statement of policy rather than the treasury being forced into one embarrassing climbdown after another."
"HMRC thinks it is being very clever, but this approach has the unintended consequence that Britain loses international sporting events and the economic activity they generate."
As said, HMRC at times tries to be too clever by half.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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