RIFT Tax Refunds analysed the UK’s 18 best paid sports stars and what they take home in a year as a result of their on-field/track/course endeavours, as well as what they pay to the UK tax man.
The research shows that combined, these sports stars earn a humongous £136.750m per year, contributing over £64m in tax to the UK economy on an annual basis.
Lewis Hamilton tops the table and by quite some margin. The F1 star takes home an estimated annual salary of £27.9m, with RIFT Tax Refunds estimating he pays a huge £13.1m in tax each year.
His £27.9m annual earnings is 83,583% higher than the average UK salary (£33,402), paying 196,871% more tax in a year. Even after tax, his annual net income of £14.8m is enough to purchase 28 London homes, three luxury yachts or two private jets.
Jordan Sancho sits second in the table, earning a gross annual salary of £18.2m and paying just over £8.5m in tax each year.
F1 and football dominate the top 5, with Raheem Sterling earning £16.9m and paying £7.9m in tax, while Lando Norris earrings £15.9m, paying £7.5m in tax, followed by Jack Grealish who takes home £15.6m and pays an annual rate of tax of £7.3m.
Rory Mcllroy is the UK’s best paid golfer, earning £6.9m whilst paying a hefty £3.2m in tax, while Andy Murray is our best paid tennis star earning just shy of £4m per year and handing the tax man just under £1.9m per year.
Ben Stokes, England’s test cricket captain, is the highest paid cricketer in the UK, paying over £1.8m per year on his annual on-field salary of £3.9m.
Emma Raducanu is the only female sports star to make the list, sitting 13th overall, with a gross salary of nearly £2.5m, whilst coughing up £1.53m in tax each year.
While he may be retiring from international rugby, an annual salary of £1m currently makes Finn Russell the UK’s best paid rugby player, with him paying just shy of £460,000 a year in tax.
Bradley Post, MD of RIFT Tax Refunds, commented:
“Those at the very top of their sporting profession take home some mind boggling pay cheques for their troubles.
While there is certainly a disparity between certain sports when it comes to the best paid stars, not to mention a gender imbalance, the average person could only dream of earning such sums in a lifetime, let alone a year.
In fact, over their lifetime the average person won’t even come close to earning what these stars pay in tax alone each year. That is, of course, providing they make their full tax contribution without any creative accountant work, or in the case of Lewis Hamilton, by living in Monaco for much of the year.”
Data tables and sources can be viewed online, here.
Notes to Editors:
• Tax and accounting specialists RIFT Tax Refunds are specialists that help claim tax back when you travel for work.
• The rules for a UK tax rebate can be tough to understand, but our RIFT tax specialists are the best in the business at handling travel and vehicle tax refunds for workers like you. With RIFT, online tax refunds are simple and stress-free.
• RIFT has claimed back over almost £308m in tax rebates for 126,249 customers since 1999
• In 2021, RIFT made 31,313 calls to HMRC, spending over 11,000 hours on the phone.
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