Glasgow & West Scotland

Tax break offer to 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes

Usain Bolt
Image caption Top athletes like Usain Bolt could escape paying tax during the Glasgow games

Athletes from outside the UK who compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games are to be given an income tax exemption.

The Treasury has decided to grant the incentive to encourage top international competitors to attend the Glasgow event.

Chief Secretary Danny Alexander is expected to confirm the move during a visit to the west of Scotland.

A similar measure has been put in place for the London 2012 Olympics.

Any athlete not normally resident in the UK is subject to UK income tax on any payment for performing in the country.

'Memorable Games'

This can include a proportion of worldwide endorsement income.

The exemption could be particularly valuable to top stars such as sprinter Usain Bolt.

In the draft text of a speech Mr Alexander intends to make during a visit to the Commonwealth Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, released to the media, he explained the move.

Mr Alexander said: "With six months tomorrow to go until London 2012, I'm pleased to announce this special exemption for Glasgow 2014 which will prolong the Olympic legacy and help spread the long-term benefits into Scotland.

"Everyone wants to see the best athletes compete at Glasgow 2014 and this exemption will make that more likely."

Shona Robison, the Scottish government minister for Commonwealth Games and sport, said: "I am delighted that an agreement has been reached to exempt international competitors from tax on any income arising from their appearance in the Commonwealth Games.

"We want to deliver a memorable Games which attracts the cream of Commonwealth athletes to Glasgow 2014."

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