Football agents who work on behalf of the footballer and the club they are brokering the deal with, which is called ‘dual representation’, have been subject to revised guidelines by HMRC.
A normal transfer scenario would see the football club pay the full fee to the agent, with part of the sum being paid on behalf of the player, and taxed as a benefit in kind. HMRC will be scrutinizing any P11D claims that they do not feel are accurate for the intermediary fees that the club has paid on the player’s behalf.
In the past, there was a dual representation of a 50/50 equal split of the fee payable, between the services on behalf of the player, and the services on behalf of the club. The player would pay tax on the services on his behalf but not for the share of the club. This would give some transparency for every negotiation
HMRC have now changed their stance on these guidelines and will now look more into what a player has agreed to pay their agent in their representation contract and also ask clubs to justify the involvement they have made between the services provided to club and player.
HMRC will ask that clubs, agents and players to log all documents and discussions whilst negotiating the transfer until completion. HMRC expect the clubs and agents to retain a significant amount of evidence.