Brighton and Hove Albion claim they have been “named and shamed” by HMRC for being “over-generous” with expenses to work experience staff.
The club were named among 198 companies in what the HMRC is calling their biggest list ever of firms not paying minimum wage.
Albion has been accused of owing more than £2,800 to one worker, but club officials said they were “very disappointed to be named” having already made representations to Government officials.
Responding to The Argus, the club said it had been “over generous” in paying the expenses of an individual on a work experience placement at the club two years ago.
The club said the minor administrative error was corrected by the club as soon as possible and they sought external legal advice in which they were instructed they had not breached employment regulations.
A club spokesman said because of the HMRC's decision, which the club are unable to appeal, Albion had suspended its work experience programme and been forced to close the door to “many graduates seeking such opportunities”.
Reading between the lines it appears that the club attempted to avoid tax payments on a salary by putting the payments in expenses. Rightly or wrongly HMRC have decided to name and shame, the result being that the club won't operate a work experience programme anymore because it's simply too complex and time consuming to comply with the bureaucracy.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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