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Free to Ski with no tax obstacles

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Free to ski with no tax obstacles – Katie Summerhayes and Geraint Jones

We are proud to be partnering GB Short Track, GB Freeski and Chemmy Alcott in the build up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. One of the major facets of our partnerships is providing the athletes with tax and accounting advice in order to make sure their focus is on what they do best: competing. Reeves strive to remove unnecessary stress and workload from the daily lives of the athletes we sponsor; this is how we make our impact on the ‘team behind the team’.

Katie Summerhayes, GB Freeski

Tax returns! I can honestly say that my tax return is one of the toughest and most frustrating responsibilities of being an athlete! It’s like being snowed under with receipts, spreadsheets and cheques from all over the season – I never know where to start. These huge oversized card cheques, they take a photo of me with them, I put it on Facebook and then I always think – yep I’ll just take that into the bank, and see what they say.

As soon as the season starts as an athlete competing internationally, I have money in and money out from events, training and sponsorships to juggle from all over the globe. There’s heaps of different currencies, different forms to fill, different rules for each country, and somehow you’ve got to keep records of everything. As well as pack, unpack, train, prepare, talk to the media, do the competition and all over again event to event all season. I take photos and email myself receipts and paperwork because they get lost or snow covered otherwise and try and deal with a batch whenever I get time. It’s really pretty overwhelming, you feel like you need a team just to keep track of it or you’re left with a pretty large headache to fill all the forms!

Funding is really so important; I am so stoked about all the years of support I’ve had from sponsors, family and my team, and I have so many thank yous to make to everyone supporting me now. It’s fantastic and a real life saver to finally have all these complex finances and tax issues looked after by a team that knows it all inside out back-to-front. As athletes, so much goes into every success and supporting every challenge, and you depend on surrounding yourself with a team of experts for all aspects of life and competition.

People tell me that I’m crazy what I do pushing the limits in jumping, flipping, tricking and ask isn’t the pressure insane? Honestly, give me a good day on the slope in front of a million people any day, it’s a hundred times easier than my tax return!

Geraint Jones, Partner, Reeves Accountants

As a tax adviser, with no skiing ability at all, my job is to make life easier for people like Katie. There is no point in a sportswoman wasting her time worrying about the reverse charge mechanism for VAT or Austrian withholding taxes. That is my job. Their job is to go out and make us all proud. 

If we can reduce their financial and administrative burden that will give people like Katie more time to concentrate on what they do best, winning! Hopefully by making their life easier we can make a small contribution to their success.

The internet has of course completely transformed the ease with which we can help sports stars. At the flick of a button I can be in contact with Katie wherever she is in the world, whether it is Chamonix, Chatel or Chelsea. I can send her tax returns for approval, or accounts for review.  With the latest technology she will not only be skiing in the clouds she will also be reviewing her accounts in the Cloud.  

However we can do more for Katie than just form filling. When we look at any of our clients we try to create as tax efficient a structure as possible. There is no point in paying unnecessary tax. We would also advise on making pension contributions or tax efficient investments such as EIS, SEIS or VCT. Maybe even setting up portfolio of investments. We would create a structure to take clients like Katie not just to the end of their sporting careers but also into the life and career that exists for them beyond their retirement.

Nowadays we can be authorised to obtain most information without having to bother our clients. That way we can ensure that tax efficient planning is in place, all taxes are paid and all tax returns are all filed on time. And our clients can ensure that they are focused on winning!

Katie may well prefer a triple backflip to planning her taxes or filing tax returns, however give me a copy of the Taxes Acts and a calculator any day.

In photo, from left to right; Shirley Smith – Reeves, Rowan Cheshire – GB Freeski, James Machon – Gb Freeski Team, Katie Summerhayes – GB Freeski Team, Molly Summerhayes – GB Freeski, Pat Sharples – GB Freeski and Nigel Fright – Reeves.