Premier League stars pay nearly £13m to the tax man

Research from tax refund experts, RIFT Tax Refunds, reveals how much tax is paid by Premier League footballers revealing that, while some might consider them to be overpaid prima donnas, they make contributions that would make the average taxpayer’s eyes water. 

Tax owed by highest paid players

The highest paid footballer in The Premier League is Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo. He earns a jaw-dropping £510,000 a week, just over £26.52m a year. However, with such a hefty pay packet, he ends up giving almost half of it, £12.78m, to the tax man, leaving him with £13.74m. 

Manchester City’s mercurial Belgian midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, earns £400,000 a week, or £20.80m a year. His annual tax contribution is, therefore, estimated to be £10.02m while he keeps the remaining £10.78m. 

Man Utd goalkeeper, David De Gea, pays £9.40m in tax, while teammates Jadon Sancho and Raphal Varane give the tax man £8.77m and £8.52m respectively.

The highest paid player who does not earn his money in Manchester is Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku, who gives £8.14m of his £16.9m salary to the government. 

How does the Premier League compare to other English leagues?

These players are, of course, at the top of their game, earning far more than the average Premier League player. In fact, the average salary in the Premier League is a far more humble £3.12m a year, or £60,000 a week, creating an average income tax bill of £1.45m. 

This is £1.12m more than the average tax payment of a Championship player (£449,079), £1.55m more than a League 1 player (£40,215), and £1.57m more than the annual tax paid by League 2 players (£22,632).

What about European leagues?

But how do the tax bills of Premier League players compare to those from players who compete in Europe’s other big leagues?

Well, players in Spain’s La Liga earn an average salary of £2.04 million and pay an average tax bill of £895,218 which is £482,740 less than the Premier League, while players in Italy’s Serie A pay £846,023 in tax, £703,945 less than the Premier League. 

Players in Germany’s Bundesliga pay £782,043 less tax than the Premier League, and in France’s Ligue 1, the average player pays £1,338,475 less tax than the players in England’s top flight. 

CEO of RIFT Tax Refunds, Bradley Post, commented: 

“It’s fair to say that the Premier League’s biggest names earn more in the time it takes to tie their boot laces than many of us earn in a year. 

That said, the amount of tax they contribute is astounding, contributing huge amounts to the UK economy before you even account for the money generated by fans eagerly travelling around the country to watch them play. 

Of course, we’d be naive not to acknowledge that many, if not all of them, will employ some very savvy accountants who can help them streamline these tax bills.”

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