Bolt set for Anniversary Games

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Just when the line up for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games didn’t look like it could get much better, it did.

The fastest man in history Usain Bolt has confirmed he will return to the Olympic Stadium in London three years after his last appearance in England.

Six-time Olympic champion Bolt is not much of a familiar figure when it comes to many of the big meets in the UK due to the high taxation on potential winnings, however, due to a tax exemption for the Anniversary Games, Bolt will compete a world-class field.

The last time Bolt ran an individual event in Britain at the Olympic Games of 2012, here is what happened:

The tax rules for non-resident athletes competing in the UK state that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) taxes the earnings of overseas athletes from appearance fees and prize money at 50 per cent and also on a proportion of their global endorsement income.

Put simply, the number of days a foreign athlete spends training and competing in Britain in a year is divided by the total number of days the athlete trains and competes around the world. HMRC then uses the figure to calculate the percentage of global income that is taxable.

So, for example, if an athlete spends ten per cent of the year training and competing in Great Britain, then ten per cent of their worldwide endorsement income is taxable.

The reason that we saw the Jamaican compete in his country’s 4x100m relay team at last summer’s Commonwealth Games was due to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games being exempt from tax rules, along with 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Champions League finals of 2011 and 2013 at Wembley Stadium.

With the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games to be added to the list of events exempt from tax rules, it will hopefully bring more of the world’s best athletes to the UK.