HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have issued a warning to Olympic torchbearers who are planning to sell their torches that they could face tax bills for doing so. Dozens of Olympic torches have already found their way on to auction websites such as eBay. Some have bids in access of £5,000 and some people are asking for huge sums of money in the name of charity.
The torches were intended to be kept as a keepsake not a commodity, bearers can by the torches for £495 while some can by them for as little as £215. Some people even got them for free from their sponsors.
Lots of people think that they don’t need to worry about tax because the proceeds will be donated to charity but this just isn’t the case. HMRC says on their website that there will be no charge for capital gains tax if the torch is donated to the charity and they sell it themselves, so this could be a solution for many looking for peace of mind.
In the news post on the HMRC website it says: “If the torch is worth less than £6,000 when you sell it then you will not have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on your proceeds. If it is worth more than £6,000 then you will have a chargeable gain, and you may have to pay CGT, depending on whether you have other gains in the tax year.” You can find out more by visiting the HMRC website.
Many of the 8,000 runners who have the honour of carrying an Olympic torch will relish their souvenir from this great British occasion. The ones selling their torches have been criticised heavily by many who think that it is wrong to profiteer.