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Rory McIlroy team refutes 'tax exile' talk after Dubai move

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 06/04/2015

Hotly fancied: Rory McIlroy is tipped to win the Masters
Hotly fancied: Rory McIlroy is tipped to win the Masters

Golf star Rory McIlroy is more likely to settle in the US and not Dubai, despite becoming a tax resident there, his manager has said.

Donal Casey, chief executive of Rory McIlroy Inc, made the comments in response to reports by The Sunday Times describing the world number one golfer as a "tax exile" - which he refuted.

According to a report last week, 25-year-old McIlroy has joined international celebrities and athletes whose official residences are on the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah, which was designed to resemble a palm tree from above.

The move was reported to save him millions thanks to establishing residency in tax-haven Dubai - part of the United Arab Emirates.

The Sunday Times said that documents from McIlroy's courtroom battle with Horizon Sports Management, his former agent, named Monaco as his primary residence.

But in Irish company documents filed it emerged that his primary residence is now in Dubai, and Palm Jumeirah is listed as his residence on a recent trademark application made in Ireland. Speaking to the Sunday Times however, Mr Casey defended the four-time major champion who is vying to win the Masters this weekend, adding that he would eventually leave Dubai and become a tax resident in the US.

He added that the "larger part" of his income would be channelled through his Irish company, Rory McIlroy Management Services Ltd with a tax of 12.5%.

He said it was a "good news story for Ireland Inc" that he is planning to do this.

"Rory could have domiciled the corporate ownership of his lifetime commercial and image rights in an off-shore tax haven but chose Ireland instead," Mr Casey said.

"In the medium term, Rory McIlroy, the individual, is likely to become a US tax resident whenever he settles down to have a family."

Story so far

Rory McIlroy is the world's number one golfer and the 25-year-old will complete a career grand slam if he wins the Masters, which starts on Thursday. He is the third-highest-paid golfer at present and made $49m (£32.8m) last year, according to Golf Digest. About $35m (£23.4m) of that came from earnings off the course including a sponsorship deal with Nike.

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