Research from tax refund experts, RIFT Tax Refunds, reveals how much tax is paid by Premier League footballers. 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 gives almost half of it, £12.78m, to the taxman, leaving him £13.74m.
Manchester City’s mercurial Belgian midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, earns £400,000 a week, or £20.80m a year. Therefore, his annual tax contribution is estimated to be £10.02m while he keeps £10.78m. Man Utd goalkeeper, David De Gea, pays £9.40m in tax, while teammates Jadon Sancho and Raphal Varane give the taxman £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 the government £8.14m of his £16.9m salaries.
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. The average salary in the Premier League is 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 one player (£40,215), and £1.57m more than the annual tax paid by league two players (£22,632).
What about European leagues?
But how do the tax bills of Premier League players compare to those of 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 most prominent names earn more in the time it takes to tie their bootlaces than many make in a year. 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.’