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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Athletes: General

The following guidance concerns athletes resident in the UK.


Cricketers, footballers, rugby players and the like are employees of the club for which they play. They may, however, receive other income of the kind received by athletes as described in BIM50610. You should always consider whether the income is properly chargeable as employment income before agreeing a computation that taxes the income as trade profits.

Other Sports; trade and miscellaneous income

The following pages deal specifically with athletes. However, the guidance below may help you if you are dealing with other sports people to consider whether:

  • there is a trade as opposed to a purely leisure pursuit or hobby (see BIM50605)
  • a receipt is trading income (see BIM50610 and BIM50615)
  • a particular expense is an allowable deduction (see BIM50620)
  • a receipt is assessable under the miscellaneous income provisions of Part 5 Chap 8 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 (see BIM50630)