A sportsperson who receives money from a sporting testimonial or benefit match organised by an independent testimonial committee may not be regarded as earnings and so not subject to tax.
New legislation within the Financial Bill 2016 will make it clear that all income arising from sporting testimonials and benefit matches will be subject to income tax under PAYE no matter who arranges them. There will, however, be an exemption for employed sportspersons of up to £50,000 either from an individual match or a series of events in a testimonial year. Separate legislation will be introduced before 6th April 2017 for National Insurance.
This measure will make it clear that all income from testimonials and benefit matches will be taxable. However, it is interesting that an exemption of £50,000 is to be applied to employed sportspersons rather than the £30,000 limit applied to other individual employees for termination payments.