Olympic hero Mo Farah applies to be tax exile in bid to save millions
THE athlete has applied to change his main place of residency to the US which could help him avoid huge taxes on his earnings in the UK.
The Daily Record UK
12 Jan 2014
OLYMPIC hero Mo Farah has applied to be a tax exile.
The double gold medal winner and World Champion runner – who was given Lottery funding to launch his career – has told the taxman his main place of residency is the US.
HMRC are considering the claim, which could help Mo avoid a hefty tax bill on earnings in the UK.
Somali-born Mo, 30, is expected to make as much as £10million over the next few years after shooting to fame with his 2012 victories in the 5000m and 10,000m.
The athlete, who lives in Teddington, London, has continually spoken of his pride at representing Britain.
He once said: “It’s where I grew up. I don’t know nothing but England.”
But his non-residency application names Portland, Oregon – where he trains – as his main home with wife Tania, her daughter Rihanna and their 17-month-old twins Aisha and Amani.
Meanwhile, the athlete’s Connecticut-based management firm Octagon aim to push “Brand Mo” here and in the US.
Clifford Bloxham, the firm’s UK vice president, said: “Mo can be doing big deals in British sport.
“He will be able to compete with Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton and top footballers. He needs to be conscious of his brand.”
In the US, the firm will make him a fortune by concentrating on his African roots.
He was born in wartorn Somalia but moved to England aged eight. Mo, who delighted millions with his Mobot celebration, already earns around £250,000 a time for exhibition events around the globe.
He has sponsorship deals with Virgin Media, Quorn, Lucozade and Nike, earning him millions more.
But he was shocked at criticism he was motivated by money after being paid £250,000 for running only half last year’s London Marathon.
Mo, who received an OBE last year, said: “When you become Olympic champion, yes there are rewards.
“But for someone to say you’re only doing it for those rewards…that’s wrong.”
Mo was one of around 100 promising athletes to receive Lottery funding in 2006.
He went to Portland with his family in 2011 to be trained by world-renowned coach Alberto Salazar.
The training paid off when he stormed to his two gold medal victories at the 2012 Olympics.
Last March, Mo was reported to have joined Robbie Williams in calling on George Osborne to clamp down on global firms which avoid taxes in the poorest countries.
A spokesman for HMRC said he could not comment on Mo’s case but added that tax exile applications were judged individually.
He said: “The more time you spend in the UK, the more likely you are to be a resident.
“If visits average more than three months in a tax year, you are likely to become a UK resident.”
Comment from a reader in response to the above article.
8:28 PM on 12/1/2014
He spends most of his time in the US and that's where his daughter goes to school. He is claiming US residency because he is .......... resident in the US. He does not spend any where near 3 months in the UK. If any one reading this piece lived outside of the UK for more than 9 months a year they would also claim residency in the country where they are based and avoid paying double taxation. The point this slanted 'story avoids is that, because he is US resident he has to pay taxes there.
He did not get 250k for running half the London Marathon. He signed a deal for an undisclosed amount, rumoured to be that amount, for his appearance last year and this. The bulk will be for this year's appearance, conditional upon him actually running this year.
Mo has more than repaid the small amount of Lottery funding he has received.
The 'journalist' who wrote this snide piece should put his or her name to the piece