Tax break for McLaren spy fine

2012-10-12 08:58

LONDON, UK - McLaren have successfully argued in Britain that its record R443 million fine paid after a 2007 Formula 1 spying controversy should be tax deductible.

The fine was originally set at R868 million but was reduced by the loss of revenue resulting from being stripped of all their points in the constructors' championship

McLaren declared that the fine was "connected" to its trade and should be exempt from corporation tax.

Government officials claimed that the "illicit gathering" of information was not a part of the team's trading activities.

The fine was imposed by F1's governing body, the International Automobile Federation led at the time by the controversial Max Mosley, after a dossier of Ferrari data was found in the possession of the team's then-chief designer Mike Coughlan.

A McLaren spokesman said at the South Korean Grand Prix: "McLaren Group is a successful UK company, which provides high-quality employment and substantial tax revenue.

"In 2007, McLaren Racing Ltd was required to pay a penalty, following a breach of the International Sporting Code of the FIA. After consideration, a Government tribunal has found that such a contractual penalty is tax-deductible."

The spokesman said McLaren would continue to comply with all relevant legislation as a British-registered company.

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