The West Indies players at the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia who were slapped with a double tax imposition, have been swiftly given a refund by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for a portion of the money.
The development follows an exclusive story carried last week in the Sunday Express, that the players who are on regional retainer contracts were being taxed for monies earned outside of the Australian jurisdiction.
But last Wednesday the same players received notification that the deduction is being challenged and their monies returned.
At the end of last month, the players were e-mailed their pay slips which showed a deduction of 32.5 per cent of their monthly retainer contracts being taxed.
An official WICB source told the Sunday Express that they consulted Price Waterhouse Coopers (Australia) and Cricket World Cup Australia on the matter of the players’ regional retainers being taxed.
After consultation this week, and on the WICB’s own reflection, they are apparently satisfied that the position of the players being “independent contractors” and not “employees” can be defended if raised by the Australia Tax Office.
Sunday Express investigations have further revealed that the players will only continue to pay taxes on monies earned from income generated within Australia at the World Cup.
However, it is understood that the coaching and support staff who are employees, were not refunded.
The players’ lawyer, Ralph Thorne, QC said his clients should feel justified as he questioned why they had to pay that tax in the first place.
“If the WICB has been advised that the players are engaged on a different basis from its employees, I applaud and commend that legal advice that may have indicated that it is not WICB’s responsibility to remit payments for tax on income earned in respect of persons who are independent contractors,” said Thorne.
He said he felt happy that the matter is being resolved with sober discourse rather than with bitter contention.
Thorne further stated that this result is a triumph of the spirit of co-operation; partnership and commonality of purpose that needs to exist between the WICB and the players.