The GTN Sports Team provides UK and international tax advice to professional footballers and other sportspersons in association with our global network of partner firms. In addition to the UK, we are currently advising sports professionals in Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Canada, the United States and Russia.
Our clients include professionals moving to or leaving the UK on fixed term or permanent contracts and those present on a temporary basis in exhibition tours and events.
We currently provide assistance in a diverse range of sports including American football, basketball, soccer, motor racing and ice hockey and represent a number of Premier League and EFL football clubs, players, agents and scouts.
Services provided in this area include:
Exhibition tours and appearances
The UK tax authorities will seek to tax the proportion of both earnings and endorsement income relating to performances in the UK. Tax will be withheld by the club, agent or promoter and the individual will receive a form known as a FEU2 showing details of the tax deducted in the UK.
Not all visiting professional sportspersons are required to file tax returns if the tax withheld is sufficient to cover the final liability. If a return is required, then it is necessary to report a “fair proportion” of earnings from worldwide activities for time spent in the UK, including endorsement or sponsorship income. This is usually based on the proportion of “relevant performance and training days” that relate to the UK.
We can provide assistance with the review of withholding and preparation of tax returns where this is required.
Review of tax residency
For more permanent moves, we provide a full analysis of tax residence in early planning stages. In certain locations, an individual may move to a new country part way through the tax year (for example at the start of a new season), but may become tax resident and obliged to pay taxes for the entire year. It is therefore important to consider the best time to arrive in a certain country and the appropriate dates for the signature of new contracts and the signature of termination contracts.
Payments for image rights
Tax authorities in many countries are now challenging the tax structure of image rights. We can provide a review of such structures and confirm the taxation rules on a multi-jurisdictional basis.
Payments of agent fees
Payment of agent fees will require important analysis, as tax authorities in certain jurisdictions now deem these to be considered as salary in kind of the player.
Preparation of complex tax returns
As many professional sportspersons have significant investments in additional to “earnings” it is critical to have expertise in this area to determine taxation and optimisation of taxes on a local and international level. We can assist clients with complex tax filings in several jurisdictions concurrently.
Our clients often have investments in other assets, such as real estate. Through the GTN network, we can provide legal and tax advice for such investments and also we deal with the accounting and tax returns of the companies.
It is also important to plan for retirement, since many professional sportspersons may end their career whilst in their thirties. We provide planning options, both within and outside of the UK and can assist with estate planning and drafting of wills via our legal partners.
For further information or to find out how we can help, please contact Richard Watts-Joyce on 0207 100 2126.