TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, July 12, 2010

Usain Bolt Runs From the Tax Man

Bolt From Sports Illustrated:

Usain Bolt won't compete at next month's Crystal Palace Diamond League meeting because of British tax rules.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Friday's Areva meeting scheduled at the Stade de France, the Olympic and world champion in the 100 and 200 meters said he decided to skip the event after his agent informed him he would lose money by competing in London.

Bolt's agent Ricky Simms told The Associated Press the British tax law stipulates that foreign sports stars have to pay taxes on their worldwide endorsements, a situation that "in recent sports has kept a lot of the big stars in other stars away from Britain."

(Hat Tip: Eric Sachtjen.)

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Was this not an issue when the NFL staged games in London?

Posted by: S | Jul 12, 2010 2:04:31 PM

shouldn't this also then apply to the players in the British Open for golf?

Posted by: michael | Jul 12, 2010 7:59:06 PM

I wonder if this will become an issue for the upcoming London Olympics.

Posted by: Emily | Jul 13, 2010 6:29:58 AM

This does indeed apply to the players in the British Open? Inland Revenue won approval by the UK courts for this approach by nailing Andre Agassi for endorsement income because he appeared at Wimbledon.

I wonder about the methodology. Wimbledon and the Open are big events and give the athletes a large platform, but the Crystal Palace Diamond League meet is tiny and probably makes little to no difference in Bolt's, say, Nike deal.

Posted by: guy in the veal calf office | Jul 13, 2010 9:47:53 AM