Until 1995, there was an important distinction between Rugby
League football and Rugby Union football. Rugby League football was
played by both amateurs (who were not paid for playing) and
professionals (who were paid). Rugby Union football, on the other
hand, was (or purported to be) exclusively amateur.
In 1995, the international governing body of Rugby Union football announced that the sport would become open. That is, that Rugby Union footballers could become overtly professional. In Great Britain and Ireland this change took effect from the beginning of the 1995/96 playing season. Since then Rugby Union players, like Rugby League players, may be either amateurs or professionals. Professional players will usually be engaged by their club under a contract of employment.
Guidance relating to the taxation of Rugby footballers is arranged as follows:
|EIM64155||Types of payment|
|EIM64160||Signing-on fees after 1 January 1996|
|EIM64115||Share of transfer fee|
|EIM64120||Benefits and testimonials|
|EIM64145||Payments to amateur players|
As regards payments to Association footballers, see EIM64100 onwards.