Ireland – A helping tax hand for retiring sports professionals

Ciarán MedlarBDO Ireland
27 March 2024
Tax relief Professional Sportspersons retire Ireland

Understanding tax relief for athletes retiring in Ireland

Back in 2002, the Irish Government introduced an innovative tax relief for professional sportspersons which results in the individual receiving a tax refund in the year they retire permanently from professional sports.

This has proven to be a very effective policy in delivering two key outcomes : 

  • Firstly, it encourages elite professional sportspeople to base themselves in Ireland and to perform here. This ensures a significant tax bounce generated by the Irish economy from large crowds attending sports events to see world class stars in action in Ireland and spending significantly in the local community and
  • Secondly, it allows the retiring professional tuse the refunds to retire debt and most importantly, to re-train for life after sport. For sportspersons who qualify, the relief provides a valuable lump sum that can help the sportsperson with the transition from their playing career, in particular where that career has been cut short by injury.

Qualifying Sports

The sportspersons tax relief is designed to be a form of retirement relief for specified classes of sportspersons. 

It applies to thirteen different sports and the sportspeople that can qualify are:

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Ciarán Medlar

Partner – Head of BDO Sports Advisory, BDO Ireland

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