Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Proud but not that proud

Back in October the BBC posted this interview with Mo Farah who explained how he 'had ;learnt everything from the UK', following Jack Wilshere's comments.

Oddly the BBC have been less than interested in the news that:
'Britain’s Olympic champion Mo Farah plans to move to the USA as an expat tax exile.

According to his management, Farah, the reigning Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metre gold medal holder lives in Portland, Oregon.


Farah is a top rate taxpayer earning £100,000 a year or more and paying his tax at a rate of 45%.

Farah, aged 30 years old, was born in Somalia, but moved with his family to the UK when he was eight.

He is reckoned as one of the world’s richest athletes behind sprint champion Usain Bolt.

Tax rates are a major issue for foreign footballers sought after by Premier League clubs. Top players on multi-million pound salaries can earn more and pay less tax in other countries, putting British teams at a disadvantage when competing for the best talent.

Tax is not only an issue for sportsmen, but also entertainers who often commute into the UK for tours and events.

The issue is nothing new – the tradition dates back to the 1950s and 1960s when tax triggered the ‘brain drain’ to the USA and other nations from the UK.'
I'm not attacking Mo Farah for this decision, it's his life, his money, his moral compass. When Mo Farah won his Olympic & World gold medals I was cheering him on.

I am attacking the BBC however. I remember the headlines when British Formula 1 drivers relocate to Monaco, with all the insinuations of tax avoidance and lack of loyalty. But when it's a BBC hero, a black hero, an immigrant hero, someone the BBC used as the prrof that racists wrong about all immigrants, not a word. 


Alex said...

To be fair to Mo, he has been living in Oregon for quite a while, and it is not exactly a tax haven. As a US resident, albeit on a visa, he would have been liable to US and UK tax, subject to credits in the US for taxes paid in the UK. With different tax years the whole process of filing tax returns in the 2 countries is a bit of a nightmare (or it was when I did so nearly 30 years ago), so I can't blame him. He will have to be careful about how much time he spends in the UK, but it looks as though most of his time will be spent overseas. I like Mo, although he sometimes seems a little naive in front of the camera. What he is doing here seems perfectly reasonable, but I can imagine some hostile interviewer laying into him.

Not a sheep said...

I wasn't criticising Mo Farah, just the BBC for it's double standards - paid for (partly) by me.