George Osborne has granted a tax amnesty to overseas athletes competing in this summer’s London Grand Prix in the Olympic Stadium to ensure that Usain Bolt takes centre stage on the anniversary of the Olympic opening ceremony.
The background is that if you’re an athlete (and certain musicians etc) then if you perform in the UK the UK will tax you not just on the money you earn from the event but on a portion of your worldwide earnings for the year.
Approximately, but not exactly, if you have 15 competitions in the year and one of them is in the UK then they’d like tax on 1 15 th of your global income. All the product endorsements etc. Whether those contracts have anything at all to do with the UK or not.
What amuses though is that Ritchie insists that people don’t change their behaviour in view of tax rates. But that an amnesty of this type is considered necessary shows that they do. Without it Bolt just wouldn’t turn up. And refusing to compete in a country because of the tax rates is indeed changing your behaviour over tax rates.