Football agent scores £1.2m own goal
A former football agent, Jerome Anderson, who looked after over 200 players during his career including Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, has lost his £1.2m tax avoidance case with HMRC.
The football agent’s tax appeal was recently heard at the Upper Tribunal who upheld the decision of the First Tier Tribunal and disallowed the relief for losses incurred by a football academy run by the football agent. Anderson and eight others attempted to use this scheme to avoid large amounts of tax.
The losses that were under consideration by the Tribunal involved investments in the recruitment and training of young footballers at the Bafana Soccer Academy in South Africa. Anderson attempted to use this investment to claim a £3m artificial trading loss and thereby make a significant dent in his tax liability.
The tribunal found that Anderson’s activities were more like those of an investor which meant he could not claim a trading loss and was therefore liable to pay the tax HMRC said was due.
Penny Ciniewicz, HMRC’s director general for customer compliance, said:
‘The court has made it clear that these schemes don’t work. Our public services rely on everyone paying their taxes and it’s unfair for people not to pay their share. Anyone who’s caught up in tax avoidance and who wants to put it behind them should come forward now and settle what they owe.’