Most people will not know James Seymour but modern day professional cricketers and footballers have a lot to thank him for.

Just before the First World War Mr Seymour was scoring runs for fun and when he retired Kent CCC arranged a benefit match and gave him the gate money.

Mr Seymour’s last wicket stand was in the House of Lords in 1920 against the Revenue and ever since income received from testimonials and benefit matches have largely been tax free.

That’s all about to change.

Under the Finance Bill 2016 it is proposed that (for events agreed after November 2015 taking place after April 2017), where the arrangement is not contractual, sports persons will be liable to income tax on all profits arising from a testimonial or benefit, subject to an exemption of up to £50,000.

Some may see this as a sensible step particularly when top earning footballers receive tax free windfalls from testimonial games (although it should be said many do make substantial donations to charity!)

For further information please contact our Sports Law Solicitor Tim Bailey on 01782 205000 or tim.bailey@beswicks.com.