Sir Alex, whose team lost 4-2 to a World XI on Monday evening (above), already earns around £1m a year. The testimonial was traditionally for players in the lower echelons of the game who needed a retirement nest-egg but has since become a grey area with many top-class players also reaping the benefits of a tax-free fundraiser.Now, however, the Revenue is reported to be taking a hard look at the tax-free status of testimonials.And tax experts have questioned whether the testimonial has become outdated now that players demand huge salaries.Guidance states such matches are technically subject to tax, but also indicates ways in which the tax bill can be avoided. To qualify as a tax-free testimonial, the match must be organised by a committee or third party.The Revenue cannot claim any money raised by a testimonial as the fans are not forced to watch so the money is a gesture of goodwill.But if it was a condition of a footballer's employment that they can have a benefit after ten years it would be taxable.A spokesperson denied the Revenue was clamping down. 'If payment is made by a football club it would be taxed in the same way as income. But if a third party makes the payment then it is not taxable,' the spokesperson said.
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