How are Athletes Taxed in the UK?

athletes tax in the UK

Many people consider the athletes and the people related to the world of sports as exceptional. This is because of the fact that they think that many lives are inspired and even led by them. Here comes the involvement of the tax system that does not spare even the athletes that are playing in the UK. Even when the earnings that these athletes are making are different than the common people’s and incurring expenses are different as well. This makes several people wonder about the facts related to athletes’ taxes in the UK.

Well, this totally depends on the amount of money that an athlete earns and what are they based on being in the role of an athlete. There can be several ways that are for the athlete to compete in this journey of being the sports person. This professional status will require external help to maintain many factors and one of them is tax. This guide is based on the discussion about beginners in the sports world to understand what are the special tax rules for professional status, how will they be taxed, and what is the role of a double tax treaty in this regard. Let us get deeper into the discussion further to gather the relevant information based on the athlete’s professional status and tax implications.


Whether you want to establish a new business, set up a franchise, or expand your existing business, get in touch with our accounting firm professionals to help! Register today in under three minutes – For Free!


Do Sports People Go Against the Law of Tax?

If you back in the years, you will find out a few examples of athletes who went against HMRC as they were of the view that the way they are being taxed is not justified. Some examples belong to the tax year 2010 and 2011 when several athletes stopped to compete in the UK because of the tax implications and higher tax rates and decided to compete in Paris instead. When there are events that take place in the UK, sometimes the tax liability is more than the appearance fee that they are being given, so the management of the athletes decides to decline such offers because of the higher tax rates.


Are Athletes Taxed in the UK?

If you are an athlete and a resident of the UK as well, you will have to pay the regular tax rates on the earnings that are being received from the UK and from other sources of countries. Let us take the instance of an athlete who is a part of the Premier League, however, he has a different income source of having rental property abroad. Now, this athlete will have to pay tax on the income that he is earning from both sources of income. The players that belong to the  Premier League tend to be the higher earners so they will end up paying a higher rate of tax which is 45%. 


What is the Logic Behind this to Make Sense?

If the worldwide income of an athlete is subject to a kind of event that is UK based, they will only have to deal with the UK tax implications. This is where it gets confusing for beginners to understand the law of the tax in the UK. Such bills are worked out with the number of days you have played in the UK and the number of days that you have to spend abroad to be a part of the games. This is known as HMRC maths usually.


What is the Double Tax Treaty and How is it Relevant?

A double tax treaty is known to be an agreement that is made between the country that is supposed to be your other source of income and the UK. This will help you to pay the tax once and not twice in other countries. It is usually implemented when you are working abroad. This sounds like the problem is solved. However, the double treaty agreement is not workable with all the countries. Only a few countries come under this ruling list. This is workable with the athlete’s UK income, sponsorship income, and endorsement income.


What is the result of the Tax Treatment of the Sportspeople and How Does it Affect them?

There are several appearances that are declined by athletes in the UK because of the tax rates and other relevant implications here. However, after the year 2012, the rules were a little flexible. In the case of the visiting athletes, the same ruling is being implemented still.


The Bottom Line

Now that you have gathered a fair amount of information about athletes’ tax in the UK, we can bring the discussion towards wrapping up. The athletes are usually the high earners and this is why they are traced on higher rates as well. Before you plan to make an appearance that is UK based, be aware of the fact relevant to the UK tax. We hope these few minutes of reading will help you better understand how athletes are taxed in the UK.


Need Help or Have a Query? Get in touch with our professionals at AccountingFirms. Connect with the Best Accounting and Tax Experts near you in just 3 minutes – Register now for Free!


Disclaimer: All the information provided in this article on how are athletes taxed in the UK, including all the texts and graphics, is general in nature. It does not intend to disregard any of the professional advice.