David Beckham charity pledge: all about avoiding tax?
PSG's new signing appears to have taken steps to ensure French taxman gets as little as possible
THE debate over David Beckham's move to Paris Saint-Germain, and why he decided to donate his salary to charity, has taken another twist after it was suggested that the move would help him avoid tough French taxes.
The Daily Mail points out that a "controversial" new 75 per cent tax rate is being introduced by French President Francois Hollande, but Beckham will not have to pay it because his salary, thought to be worth £170,000 a week, will go straight to charity.
And by basing his family in London and only signing a short-term deal with the club, Beckham will avoid other French taxes on his global assets.
The former England captain will have to be paid a minimum wage to cover national insurance and other charges, says the Mail, but that works out at less than £2,000 a month, and it means he will not have to pay the 75 per cent tax rate, or the three per cent surcharge on income over £450,000 a year.
"With Victoria Beckham and the children remaining in London, Beckham can also claim his main residence is there," says the paper. "The other crucial element of the deal is limiting the contract to five months - anyone living in France for six months or more during a calendar year could be subject to the high band of income tax."
At the weekend it was reported that while Beckham will forego his salary he will get a cut of shirt sales and other marketing income. The Sun pointed out that profits from merchandising were taxed at 30 per cent in France.
"One suspects that tax advisors have been at work," said blogger Stephen Clarke on the Daily Telegraph's Expat page.