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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of professional cricketers: earnings: talent money and benefit matches

The remuneration of professional cricketers and other professional players, other than footballers (see EIM64100 onwards), who serve under contracts of employment may consist of:

  • wages and, in some cases, talent money and
  • proceeds of a match arranged under the terms of his agreement for the benefit of a player, usually at the expiration of a number of years’ service and subject to a minimum payment guaranteed by a club (see, however, (a) below).

All these payments are chargeable to tax as employment income. The following amounts are not chargeable:

  1. proceeds of a benefit match received by a player not under the terms of his agreement but on compassionate grounds, for example, as compensation for permanent injuries
  2. proceeds of a public subscription or of a collection made at a benefit match unless it is clear that the player has an entitlement or expectancy so that such collections form part of the terms or conditions of his employment. (See EIM00630 onwards.)

Agreements between players and clubs are normally made yearly. In cases of difficulty you should ask to see the relevant documents. See also, in this connection, Reed v Seymour (11TC625).