HMRC joins image rights row

Wiggin LLP Senior Associate Sarah MacDonald is quoted in The Times’ article (Thursday 4th May) on disputes over image rights and income tax breaks following the raids by HMRC officers on Westham and Newcastle United football clubs. Sarah is quoted saying that, “a huge amount of money is generated from celebrities and sport personalities exploiting their ‘brand'” and that “We have seen many personalities commercialise themselves (trading and licensing just like a product). It is only natural that they should want to protect this.” The article goes on to state that salaries are being apportioned to image rights payments, allowing the enjoyment of tax breaks, whilst the true value of image rights is difficult to quantify, leaving them open to exploitation. You can read the full article from The Times here (paywall).