Navigating the January transfer window

David Portman, 23 January 2024

Placeholder image

The January transfer window can be an interesting time for those in the sports industry.  

For various reasons, often bigger moves are held up until the last minute, which then causes an aftershock for subsequent moves as gaps are filled in the chain below. 

Whether players are leaving, or coming to the UK, they should make sure tax advice is sought to ensure that their affairs and transactions are structured efficiently. Ideally this would be done in advance of any move, but it can be done shortly after if the timing doesn’t work due to the commercial reality of the deal.  

For those coming to the UK 

Inbound tax planning for non-domiciliaries is very important. This is to make sure that you segregate clean capital for use in the UK if needed, and avail yourself of the best benefits of the remittance basis for any ongoing overseas income or capital gains. This can be achieved by structuring your overseas accounts effectively. We can assist with this process and work with your bankers to ensure compliance. 

For those leaving the UK 

Outbound tax planning is crucial to ensure that you understand the UK tax residence rules and that you abide by them to minimise any UK taxes on your income.  

These rules, along with other various anti-avoidance rules, can affect you if you return to the UK too quickly. For example, any players who moved overseas, to say Saudi, in the summer of 2023 may be considering moving back to the UK in January 2024 to finish off the second half of the Premier League season. If this occurs, they will likely be tripped up on UK residence for the 2023/24 period and so any overseas earnings could still be taxable in the UK. Tax is generally not the motive for such moves, but all parties need to be aware as a near 50% tax on large earnings that were previously tax-free can be difficult to swallow. 

How can we help? 

If you are, or you represent, a sports professional considering a move into or out of the UK, our team is here to offer expert guidance. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the January transfer window and are equipped to provide bespoke tax advice tailored to your specific situation. 

For a confidential chat, please get in touch with Director, David Portman (