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Payments to sportspersons for their “public fame” and “image”

Posted by Northadvisory on September 11, 2017

The ATO has drafted safe harbour guidelines for apportioning payments made to professional sportspersons for the use of their public fame or image. The ATO will accept that 10% of a sportsperson’s playing contract is associated with these appearances. Under a licensing agreement, these payments can be directed to a connected resident third party.

The safe harbour rules apply where:

• payments are received pursuant to a professional sportsperson’s:
o playing contract and/or collective bargaining agreement where those agreements mandate the professional sportsperson’s participation in appearances for the development and promotion of their sport or the use and exploitation of the professional sportsperson’s “public fame” or “image” for the development and promotion of their sport, or
o agreement to provide additional services where those services are provided in conjunction with the use and exploitation of the professional sportsperson’s “public fame” or “image

• the professional sportsperson has granted a licence for the use or exploitation of their “public fame” or “image” to an associated resident third party, and
• the associated resident third party is contractually entitled to payments for the use and exploitation of the professional sportsperson’s “public fame” or “image” pursuant to a playing contract, additional service agreement and/or collective bargaining agreement

As the exact proportion of a playing contract to split between playing fees and appearance fees is difficult to calculate. As a result, the draft guidance states that the ATO will allow a safe harbour of 10% of the total playing contract value.

How can we help?

If you have any questions, require assistance or would like further clarification please feel free to contact Martin van der Saag on (02) 9984 7774 in order to discuss your particular circumstances in more detail.

Martin van der Saag
Director
T: 02 9984 7774
E: martinv@northadvisory.com.au

Norman Ruan
Accountant
T: 02 9984 7774
E: normanr@northadvisory.com.au