athletes tax in the UK

How are Athletes Taxed in the UK?

The austere tax laws of the HMRC in the UK have no margin of exemptions for any exceptional case, be it the royals members or the fastest athletes of the country. Even the fastest man in the UK and the eight-time gold medal winner, Usain Bolt could not get a chance to be spared by the tax law of the UK. Even after many trials of going against HMRC, this athlete of the country tried hard to be away from the high earner’s tax implications, but of no use. In a mega event appearance, this man was offered a huge amount in the year 2012 in London. The part of the HMRC as the tax was an amount of £100,000 payment, so he declined the invitation. Let’s get into the details of the athletes’ tax in the UK.

Further, this article will help you to have a clear picture of how the athletes tax is in the UK, how the double tax treaty affects the athlete tax in the UK, and how the feud of tax unfolds the results.


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What is Athletes Tax in the UK?

When you are an athlete who is associated with the sports world and also residing in the UK, you will have to consider the income tax rates for the worldwide income and the UK income you are earning. Let’s take the example of a football player who is associated with the Premier League and plays for them. Now the player has some rental properties overseas that are giving him a huge amount to earn at the same time. The player will have to deal with the tax implications in both countries for both kinds of taxes.

Moreover, the players who play for the Premier League are considered to be high earners so they will be falling under the high tax band bracket as well. An exception observed in this case is for the players who are non-domiciled. The remittance basis can be claimed in such a case. This explains that the player will have to deal with the UK income tax only. But he has to make sure that the income earned from the rental properties overseas does not find a way to the UK bank accounts. For the case of the players who are non-UK residents, they will be taxed on the following:

  • The global sponsorships
  • The global endorsements
  • Any kind of prize-winning in the UK
  • Any kind of appearance in the events of the UK


A Double Tax Treaty is an Agreement Between the UK and Another Country – How Does it Affect the Athletes?

The double tax treaty refers to a kind of agreement between the UK and any other country that will help such players to pay and deal with the tax implications in both countries. This is for the kind of cases when the players of the UK are also working abroad.

Moreover, this kind of agreement is applicable to many other countries and the UK. This works as a green signal for the HMRC to charge tax on athletes. So there is still no escape from the tax and being under the higher tax band. So, sponsorship income, Endorsement income, and UK income are still taxed for the athletes.


How Does this Feud Unfold the Results?

Such a feud between the players and the tax implications affect the event appearances of the athletes in the UK. Because of the heavy tax amounts, the players decline such event appearance invitations. Even the case of the visiting athletes in the UK is no exception and they are being taxed the same way as the other player are. Cultural magazines and political drama like to cover such incidents of the players and HMRC tax disputes on the media. Many of the players are of the view that the huge amount of tax implications make it very hard for them to play in the UK.


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. Since athletes are considered to be high earners, so, they are considered under the high tax band. This makes them pay heavy amounts of tax charges. Even though there are several incidents of players finding an escape from the tax implications of the UK but all are of no use. This makes the athletes say that it is not easy for them to play in the UK even as visiting players. We hope these few minutes of reading will help you to develop a better understanding of how athletes are taxed in the UK.


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Disclaimer: The information about athletes tax in the UK provided in this blog includes text and graphics in general. This does not intend to disregard any of the professional advice.

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