Cricket’s tax-free benefit system to be phased out under new budget

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Cricket’s tax-free benefit system to be phased out under new budget

  • Chancellor George Osborne announced his summer budget
  • Budget includes instruction to end cricket’s tax-free benefit system
  • All income from sports testimonials and benefit matches for salaried sportsmen will be taxed, which could also affect football and rugby.
  • Cricket’s tradition of season-long benefits for veteran players is threatened with new legislation expected to be in place by April 5, 2017











The tax-free benefit system is expected to be abolished under new government legislation, potentially depriving cricketers of one of the sport’s oldest benefits.

The decision of the Conservative government, based on a consultation following Chancellor George Osborne’s summer budget, to tax “all income from sports testimony and matches to benefit salaried sportsmen” could also affect football and rugby.

But it is in cricket, with its tradition of benefits throughout the season for players with many years of service, that the new legislation can be felt most keenly.

Cricket’s tax-free benefit system is expected to be phased out in the new budget. Pictured: Lord

Winnings of up to £ 50,000 will remain exempt, which is at least good news for players at the lower end of the financial ladder.

For top cricketers, however, the plans will mean a significant shortfall in a mostly tax-free lump sum they’ve taken for granted since 1927, when Kent’s player James Seymour won a protracted lawsuit against the Inland Revenue, which meant he had. no need to pay income tax on benefit income of £ 939.

As early as 1985 Graham Gooch made £ 154,000 for his profit, while Graeme Hick reportedly earned £ 345,000 in Worcestershire in 1999.

In 2009, as Andrew Flintoff took advantage of his profit season – traditionally a mix of games, dinners, and other money-making events – the revenue was in seven figures.

Former England batting coach Graham Gooch (right) recovered £ 154,000 tax free in 1985

Former England batting coach Graham Gooch (right) recovered £ 154,000 tax free in 1985

But with the minute details of the government’s plans yet to be worked out, some fear some cricketers may now be taxed twice.

Corporate tax is already payable at “trade events”, when guests have to pay for seats at fundraising dinners. The benefit money that is passed on to charities is another gray area.

The legislation will not come into force until April 5, 2017, when national insurance charges may also apply.

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