Press release

Glasgow 2014 gets tax boost

Athletes resident outside of the UK who compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be exempt from income tax.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Athletes resident outside of the UK who compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be exempt from income tax, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander will announce in Glasgow today. The decision mirrors a similar exemption in place for London 2012.

The decision will help spread the Olympic legacy into Scotland and encourage top athletes to compete at the Commonwealth Games. Under UK tax rules, any sportsperson not resident in the UK is subject to UK income tax on any payment in connection with their performance here, including a proportion of any worldwide endorsement income.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore and Scottish Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison will today visit the Commonwealth Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow to see progress on construction of the venue where elite athletes from across the Commonwealth will compete in 2014.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

With six months tomorrow to go until London 2012, I’m pleased to announce this special exemption for Glasgow 2014 which will prolong the Olympic legacy and help spread the long-term benefits into Scotland.

Everyone wants to see the best athletes compete at Glasgow 2014 and this exemption will make that more likely. Seeing the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome today, it’s clear that Glasgow will be an outstanding venue for the Commonwealth Games which showcases the best of UK and international sporting talent.

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said:

I am delighted that an agreement has been reached to exempt international competitors from tax on any income arising from their appearance in the Commonwealth Games.

We want to deliver a memorable Games which attracts the cream of Commonwealth athletes to Glasgow 2014. Today’s announcement is a giant stride forward and follows productive discussions between the Treasury, the Scottish Government and the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee.

The Games will show the world what vibrant and welcoming places both Glasgow and Scotland are, which is why this agreement is so important. This is yet another significant milestone in the journey towards the Games, which are on time, on budget and on track to deliver a lasting legacy for all of Scottish society.

Welcoming the announcement, Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith, said:

This agreement opens the door for the Commonwealth’s elite international athletes such as Jamaica’s sprinters, Australia’s swimmers and cyclists and Kenya’s distance runners to compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

As a major multi-sport event, with a truly global reach, Glasgow 2014 and its Games Partners are working very hard to make the XX Commonwealth Games a ‘must attend’ event for the brightest stars of the Commonwealth.

There is no doubt that today’s announcement significantly increases the access and attraction for top performers to compete at Glasgow 2014.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

Securing this tax exemption for the Commonwealth Games is good news for everyone.

Glasgow’s aim is to deliver an outstanding Commonwealth Games and ensuring we have the biggest sporting stars competing here is essential.

Notes for Editors

  1. This exemption will include any appearance fees, plus the proportion of worldwide endorsement income related to the Glasgow 2014 appearance that HM Revenue & Customs would normally tax. The sportsperson will remain liable to tax in the country in which they are resident.

  2. The exemption is for competing non UK resident athletes only. Supporting personnel and team officials will be subject to UK income tax, should they have any UK taxable income.

  3. UK resident athletes will pay income tax in the UK as normal.

  4. Athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympics are already exempt as a condition of the London bid.

  5. The Government generally only grants tax exemptions for sporting events where tax exemptions are a necessary condition of bidding for an event that is at the highest level of world sport. However, the Government is making a special exception for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, because it believes that by supporting the Games it will help to prolong the legacy of London 2012 and spread the Olympic legacy to Scotland.

Published 26 January 2012