From: Peter Broadley, Rochdale Road, Greetland, Halifax.
I WRITE as a UK taxpayer. For the last 65 years or so, I have paid my due taxes on my income and expenditure as required by law.
Apart from national taxes, I have also paid local taxes in the form of general rates and council tax.
It may be that I don’t agree with some of these taxes or the rates at which they are charged, and certainly have little faith in the Government’s ability to run the nation’s economy in an efficient manner when you see the present and future level of national debt.
I sometimes wonder if Governments are any better than those who will have splurged out Black Friday, using no doubt in most cases credit cards which require the balance to be repaid at a minimum rate of three per cent a month!
At the same time that I have been paying my taxes on time for this last 65 years, there appears to be a whole industry where the rules which apply to individuals and businesses are not applied – the professional sports industry.
How many times do we read that professional soccer and rugby clubs are the subject of winding-up petitions, mainly brought by HMRC?
Now it is unlikely that the debts owing to HMRC (in effect you and I) represent corporation tax or other tax on profits, since making a profit is the least thing on the minds of the owners and directors of these organisations who want to win the next match, gain promotion or just avoid relegation.
The taxes owed in the main represent unpaid VAT or PAYE and National Insurance deducted from their employees (mainly players) wages.
Bradford Bulls (formerly Northern) are now in administration, Featherstone Rovers and Swinton have recently been the subject of HMRC winding-up petitions.
It would be good to know what the financial position is of our clubs are – particularly with regard to public-owned creditors, but will the controlling bodies of these Leagues tell us – and will the clubs supply the correct information?
At the end of the day, these sporting organisations are businesses, not charities, so they should be dealt with by HMRC and local councils on the same basis as any other business.