Agents forced to supply "tax returns" for players in FA clampdown

Agents have been told to supply a new “tax return” style statement of earnings to their players.

Football Association chiefs are having a major purge on agents who are already feeling the heat from the taxman on dual representation deals.

But the new FA instruction has gone down badly with some agents as they must declare their earnings from each player by the end of October, similar to tax returns having to be submitted by the end of January.

It has been designed to keep players up to date but also to allow the FA to keep a check on agents and yet few seem ready to follow the order because they do not think it will be strictly enforced.

There are also fears that it may give an advantage to rival agents if they gain inside knowledge and there is general mistrust of the new rule.

Several agents are also being investigated by the taxman over dual representation deals which FIFA want to outlaw and is where one agent acts for both the club in a single transaction.

The player has to pay 40 per cent tax on the agent fee as a benefit in kind. But if an agent can show that he worked for both player and club then the player will only have to pay tax on his slice of commission. So, for example, he could end up paying tax on £50,000 rather than £100,000.

However, it is down to the agent to prove via WhatsApp messages and emails that he worked for both player and club – and several are struggling to prove it in their investigations.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “We continue to work with the football industry to educate players, clubs and agents about the tax risks associated with agent fees and other income related to their profession.”

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