This guide explains the temporary exemption from United Kingdom Income Tax for non-UK resident individuals working for certain broadcasters on income earned from working on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Please note that although exemptions from UK Income Tax are described in this guidance, you may still be liable to pay tax in your country of residence
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If you are in the UK temporarily to carry out activities that are necessary for the broadcast of the Games and you are either;
You will qualify for the tax exemption. This means you will not have to pay UK Income Tax on income earned from carrying out activities necessary for the broadcast of the Games
If you work inside an Olympic venue, for example in a media centre, you will hold an Olympic Identity & Accreditation Card or a Paralympic Identity & Accreditation Card that is issued and validated by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). If you hold a LOCOG Identity & Accreditation card, you will qualify for the tax exemption.
If you don’t have an accreditation card (because your work is carried out away from the Olympic venues, or you’re in the UK to prepare for the Games before they begin) you may still qualify for the tax exemption. Check with your employer.
A Rights Holding Broadcaster is an organisation to whom the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has granted exclusive television, Internet or radio rights to broadcast the Games in a particular state or country.
The Olympic Broadcasting Service is the organisation responsible for producing international television and radio signals and providing broadcasters with the facilities and services necessary for broadcasting the Games.
The exemption from tax is restricted to UK income you earn from Games-related activity which is necessary for the broadcast of the Games. This income must be earned during the period 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2013 to qualify for the exemption. These dates are only relevant to individuals carrying out activity necessary for the broadcast of the Games for Rights Holding Broadcasters and Olympic Broadcasting Service.
Examples of the type of income that is exempt;
Income received outside of the exemption period 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2013 is not exempt.
Income received for activities not related to the broadcast of the Games is not exempt.
If you carry out both Games-related and non-games related work and receive one payment that covers both types of work, you can only claim the tax exemption on the part of the payment that relates to the income from Games- related work necessary for the broadcast of the Games.
Stefan receives one payment of £1500 for 80 hours work from his employer. Of those 80 hours, he spent 60 hours editing footage of the Games to be broadcast and 20 hours editing footage of news items that were unrelated to the Games. The payment must be divided as follows: £1500 x 60/80 = £1125 qualifies as exempt income.
To qualify for exemption you must remain non- resident in the UK for the tax year in which you earn the income; however, your exemption is not affected if you become resident in a later year. The UK tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April.
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 a tax year.
If you are in the UK for less than 6 months in a tax year you will normally be non-resident. But if you are a regular visitor to the UK you will need to consider the average length of your visits over the last 4 years up to and including the tax year in which your Games related income is earned. This average must be less than 91 days per tax year if you are to remain non-resident.
If you are in the UK for 183 days or more in any tax year 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.
Residency is a complex issue. You can find out more about your residency status, and what to do next by reading the guide below.
Normal UK tax treatment applies to income received for non- Games related work or for activities not necessary for the broadcast of the Games. Exemptions do not apply to this type of income.
If you are an employee and are non-resident in the UK then under existing UK tax rules there will be no liability to UK tax.
If you are self-employed and you receive income for non-Games related activities or for activities not necessary for the broadcast of the Games 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.
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.