This guide explains the temporary exemption from United Kingdom Income Tax on income earned by non UK resident individuals who are performing an official function at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Please note that although an exemption from UK Income Tax is described in this guidance, you may still be liable to pay tax in your country of residence.
On this page:
If you are in the UK temporarily to perform an official function at the London 2012 Games and you hold an Olympic Identity & Accreditation Card or a Paralympic Identity & Accreditation Card you will qualify for this exemption. Your Identity & Accreditation card must be issued and validated by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited (LOCOG), and granted to you in relation to your official function.
Categories of official functions are:
Find out more about the official functions for accredited individuals in the detailed guide below
The exemption from tax is restricted to income you earn from carrying out the official function for which you received your accreditation. The activity must be carried out in the UK during the period 30 March 2012 to 8 November 2012 to qualify for the exemption.
Examples of the type of income that is exempt include:
Income earned outside of the exemption period 30 March 2012 to 8 November 2012 is not exempt.
Income received for carrying out activity other than the official function at the London 2012 Games for which you received your accreditation is not exempt. So, if you carry out both exempt and non-exempt work and receive one payment that covers both, you can only claim the tax exemption on the part of the payment that relates to the exempt activity.
Maria receives one payment of £2,000 from her employer for 50 hours work. Of those 50 hours, she spent 40 hours carrying out work for her accredited function, maintaining team equipment and she spent 10 hours at a sales exhibition which was not connected with Olympic activity. The payment must be divided as follows £2,000 x 40/50 = £1,600 qualifies as exempt income.
To qualify for exemption you must remain non-resident in the UK for the tax year 2012-13 however, your exemption is not affected if you become resident in a later year. The UK tax year 2012-13 runs from 6 April 2012 to 5 April 2013.
If you have not been to the UK before and you are here temporarily for the Games, it is likely you will be non-resident in the UK provided you do not spend 183 days or more in the UK in 2012-13. But if you are originally from the UK or a regular visitor to the UK the position may be more complex. You can find out more about residency by reading the guide HMRC6 below.
If you are in the UK for 183 days or more between 6 April 2012 and 5 April 2013 you will be resident here and the tax exemptions will not apply. If this is the case and UK tax is charged on your income it is likely that you will be able to claim credit for this against any tax liability in your home country.
The UK Government announced at Budget 2011 that it would consult on a statutory definition of residence which may apply from April 2012. Further guidance will be given on this as appropriate.
Normal UK tax treatment applies to income received for carrying out any activity other than the official function at the London 2012 Games for which you received your accreditation. If you are an employee and are non-resident in the UK then under existing UK tax rules there will normally be no liability to UK tax.
If you are self-employed and you receive income that is not exempt then you must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by completing a UK Tax Return.
If you are unsure whether your income qualifies for exemption please ask your employer or contact the HMRC Olympic Helpline. See the Contacting HMRC section below.
National Insurance is the UK's compulsory social security contribution.
The specific tax exemptions above do not apply to National Insurance contributions but the existing National Insurance exemptions mean that non-residents sent from abroad to the UK temporarily to compete in or work on the Games will not normally pay National Insurance contributions.
If you have checked the HMRC website, and you are still unable to resolve your query, you can contact the HMRC Taxes Helpline.