Tax advice for Tennis Coaches

Do you make a living wearing Wimbledon whites? Hit a kaleidoscope of shots and pass your elegant tennis skills on to the next generation and adult tennis players alike?

A career as a tennis coach is more than strategy, patterns and analysing others’ skills and helping them improve – whether you like it or not, being self employed comes with a list of responsibilities, most notably tax. Here’s an insight into some winning moves – which could help ensure you are tax efficient and remain compliant.

Whether you are self-employed or trading as a limited company, you should be aware that you are liable to pay tax. Self-employed Tennis Coaches must ensure they declare all forms of income via the Self Assessment Tax return. This must be completed and submitted before the yearly 31 January deadline. Any tax owed must also be paid to HMRC.

If you are a Tennis Coach trading as a Limited Company you will need to file annual accounts and submit a tax return – 9 months after year end.

Regardless of whether you are self-employed or run a limited company, your taxable profit is calculated as your income minus expenses. For an item to be deemed as an allowable expense, it must have been purchased for the purpose of trade – something which enables you to earn your living and aid your job. Don’t forget, if you are paid in cash, keep a record book and maintain honest, accurate records.

Common allowable business expenses for tennis coaches

Court fees
Your court time is likely to come at a price. Do you pay the club weekly, monthly or yearly? Keep a track of your costs and remember this is a deductable expense (something you need to make your living).

Sales & marketing material
Branded tennis gear, business cards, leaflets and any other marketing material is fine.

Mileage & Travel
Mileage and travel is often a confusing subject. Any work-related travel is in most cases claimable. Mileage is currently calculated at 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter. We advise you seek advice from your accountant to establish whether or not you can claim for this against your tax. Keep a log of all business trips, inc time, date, distances and a note of the player that you were coaching.

Personal liability insurance, equipment insurance and other similar.

Courses & Training
Tennis coaching courses and other training, including refresher courses and CPD training are all generally ok.

Workwear & Equipment
Your tennis racket(s), tennis shoes and other relevant workwear are allowable if solely used for business purposes.

Note that most self employed tennis coaches work between multiple tennis clubs, visiting several locations, as well as private houses. The subject of mileage is consequently likely to depend on individual circumstances and frequency at one particular site. Speak with an specialist tax advisor for accurate tailored advice.


About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek and money nerd helping financial DIY-ers organise their money so they can hit their goals quicker.

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