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Taxman targets football coaches

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has turned its attention to football coaches in its latest bid to collect unpaid taxes.

A month after local cricket clubs were under the spotlight, the tax authorities have announced it has information suggesting some UEFA-level qualified coaches may be working for a number of clubs and, although they recognise that many coaches will pay the tax they owe, there are some who have not declared all of their income.

HMRC is now encouraging these people to come forward voluntarily and, by doing so, face a significantly smaller penalty than if they’d become the subject of a full investigation.

It is likely that this campaign will also target FA-qualified coaches who coach for fun outside their full time jobs – for instance PE teachers who may spend their summer break coaching soccer camps abroad, say in America.

“Where such a person lives and pays tax in the UK, then any income earned from short-term coaching overseas will still be taxable in this country,” said Mike Down, head of tax risk and investigation management group at Baker Tilly.

“There’s going to be a lot of cynicism about this latest move, with many thinking that the amount of work required by HMRC to pursue individual coaches would be too high for this to be an efficient use of taxpayers’ money.

“But HMRC is unlikely to have started this campaign if it didn’t have significant evidence that this was a problem worth investigating, and we understand that having worked in this area before, HMRC believes that some coaches have significant undeclared earnings.”


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