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AFL Players project findings

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T he T ax O ffice today released a re p o rt that contains the findings o f the A T O 's com pliance review o f AFL players. "This follows an earlier ATO report that focused on club obligations.

"’People involved in the AFL industry have the same obligation as the rest of the community to pay their .share of tax. Even though the majority of AFL players keep good records and have unblemished tax affairs, some were found not to be doing the right thing,” Tax Commissioner Michael Carmody said.

“The main areas of concern arc non-lodgement of tax returns, understatement of income and the validity of the work relaled deductions claimed. The review also discovered some suspect salary arrangements including the re-direction cf income to spouses or family members and retrospective salary sacrificing.

The AFL project began in early 1997 to determine the level of compliance of AFL clubs and players. The. player investigation involved a broad look at som e 800 players and a more detailed exam ination of 40 randomly selected players. The aim of the review was to identify issues affecting compliance and to develop solutions to the problem.

“The review is just one part of our approach to improve compliance. We will work with the Players’ /Association and accredited players’ managers to ensure players are aware of their tax obligations. This will include providing articles to the Players’ Association to be published in their magazines and newsletters.

The joint Tax Office/AFL working group on AFL club tax obligations that was announced some weeks ago has made significant progress. Agreed guidelines for use by clubs are expected to be available in near future.

“The ATO review of the AFL industry is due to be completed by the end of the year and we will continue to monitor levels of industry compliance, in line with the ATO’s Compliance Model approach,” Mr Carmody said.

CANBERRA 20 November 1998

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