Millionaire footballers who play in the 2011 Europa League final at Lansdowne Road will not have to pay tax on their earnings to the Irish authorities, a situation which was a key factor in securing the final for Ireland.
But visiting rock stars and other sportspeople could be facing a major Revenue clampdown on their income through the possible introduction of a 'withholding tax' on earnings from their performances here.
A spokesman for the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) told the Sunday Tribune that visiting players will be exempt from Irish tax on the money they make for appearing in the Europa League final, which is the new name for the Uefa Cup.
"There is no issue in relation to taxation – we have been working with Revenue and they [the players] are exempt for the final," he said.
The decision to award the 2011 Europa League final to Lansdowne Road is estimated to be worth up to €100m to the Irish economy.
A Uefa spokesman said that the application presented to it by the FAI had led it to conclude that the "tax climate in Ireland is not averse to the staging of the Uefa Europa League final".
"In its decision to award a final, Uefa takes into consideration whether there is a favourable or an adverse tax climate in the bidders' countries [including the taxation of foreign players]," he added.
However, it remains unclear whether a specific exemption from tax has been granted as part of a deal between Revenue and the FAI in order to attract the final to Ireland.
A Revenue spokesman declined to comment on "individual cases" when contacted.
But a spokesman for the Department of Finance confirmed that a non-resident artist or sportsperson is "liable to Irish income tax in respect of income from performances in Ireland".
The department has undertaken a review of the current system of collecting such taxes, after Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan asked it to examine whether a "withholding tax regime" can be introduced.
This would aim to improve collection of income earned in Ireland by non-resident artists and performers.