Tax break for 2013 Wembley final

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke Millionaire football stars playing for overseas teams will be exempt from UK tax when they play in the 2013 Champions League final, under proposals published by ministers.

The 2012 Finance Bill will contain measures to ensure big-name players from teams outside the UK involved in the Wembley final will not lose out to the taxman.
Draft clauses to the legislation will also make sure VIPs with expensively customised armoured vehicles are not hit by the abolition of an £80,000 cap on taxing company cars.

In a written statement, Exchequer Secretary David Gauke told MPs legislation introduced in the Bill will also make the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA), which is used to fund private school fees for the children of service personnel, exempt from income tax.

Tax on CEA payments is currently paid by the Ministry of Defence on behalf of the recipients but the new proposal will remove tax altogether.

Setting out the measure to protect continental footballers' prize money from the attentions of HM Revenue and Customs, Mr Gauke said the Bill will "exempt from UK taxation money earned by non-resident footballers and team officials in relation to the Champions League final in 2013".

The exemption has been put in place to satisfy European football governing body UEFA's requirement that countries hosting the Champions League final do not levy domestic tax on non-resident players and officials involved in the match.

A similar exemption was introduced to cover this year's final, which saw Barcelona defeat Manchester United at Wembley.

The Treasury does not expect the exemption to have an impact on the Exchequer and cites a study of this year's final which showed a £45 million benefit to the London economy.

The measures on "security enhanced cars" are designed to make sure their users are not "unfairly impacted" by the abolition of the £80,000 cap on the cash equivalent benefit of company cars. Enhancements which will be covered by the measure include bulletproof glass, armour plating and protection for fuel tanks.

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