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First consultation response of 2015

January 9, 2015

Well this is odd.  The consultation on the withdrawal of another tranche of extra-statutory concessions (which closed at 11.45pm yesterday, 8th) was listed on gov.uk here.  There was one document to download, this one, which describes itself as a “technical note and call for evidence” and says

To date six consultations have been published seeking comments on such legislation, and a seventh is published today alongside this technical note.

Honestly, I wish they’d proof read this stuff!  I know they still have a consultation coordinator but perhaps “being irritatingly poorly proof read” isn’t a criterion for quality control.  That is, assuming the document actually *is* the consultation, and that there isn’t another document floating around somewhere on the HRMC website which didn’t make it across to gov.uk?

Anyway.

Here are the three concessions to be withdrawn.

EIM4 03002 – Professional remuneration

Sports testimonials

D45 – Capital Gains Tax: roll-over into depreciating assets

The first one seems to have been a “get out of operating PAYE” concession for DEFRA when they employed vets, so frankly I don’t care, sorry.  The third one has just been overtaken by new legislation and is plain obsolete.

The middle one?

Well you can see that a gentlemanly agreement to hold a testimonial match for Jenkins when he retired as the goalie for Obscurely Interesting United and returned to his full time employment as the local butcher might have made it appropriate to exclude the take from tax in the 1920’s.   This would be on the grounds that any monies Jenkins might have received were in respect of his sterling personal qualities and not an expected reward for his professional services.  But today?  When the pampered princes of the beautiful game could buy a house like mine every week from their earnings, can separate out their “image rights” (and keep them offshore), well, the belief that setting up a testimonial committee was sufficient to give them another tax-free sum wasn’t really in the spirit of the concession.

Yes I’m prejudiced: if just one of the Premier League players had put his hand in his pocket and sponsored the GB deaf women’s team’s fundraising efforts to go to the Deaflympics – funds they could have put in out of small change – I might feel differently.

On the other hand, the impact assessment says that

We understand that most of the bigger football testimonials will donate to charity – most of the Premier League testimonials noted recently have donated all funds raised (after costs incurred by the testimonial committee) to charities of the player’s choosing. In the bigger rugby and cricket testimonials up to 10% can be donated. These donations should not be adversely affected if individuals are encouraged to give using tax efficient methods such as Payroll Giving or Gift Aid, or by giving up all rights to the income.

And it’s in the impact assessment, so it must be true.

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