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NFL Tax Exempt Status


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#1 CodeMonkey

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

It should be removed in my opinion ... and immediately.

http://sports.yahoo....-004521453.html

#2 NoSaint

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

View PostCodeMonkey, on 22 May 2013 - 12:40 PM, said:

It should be removed in my opinion ... and immediately.

http://sports.yahoo....-004521453.html

im curious to dig into the article a bit when i have a block of time to focus on it - ive been wondering about the tax exempt status and how it applies on a league office vs team by team kind of standard. certainly there would be different standards at play and ive never really read up on it.

#3 Luxy312

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:47 PM

View PostCodeMonkey, on 22 May 2013 - 12:40 PM, said:

It should be removed in my opinion ... and immediately.

http://sports.yahoo....-004521453.html

Well, the teams already pay taxes on their individual profits.  Players pay taxes on the paychecks they collect.  Executives in the front office of the NFL as an organization pay taxes as well.  I didn't see anywhere in the article saying the the NFL as an organization is hoarding money.  As such, are you advocating that double taxation of income is OK?  A collection of team owners functioning as a 501©(6) doesn't seem improper to me on any scale.  Taxes are already being paid on everything the NFL earns.

#4 KollegeStudnet

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:16 PM

Never knew this...may the NFL pay taxes like all of us!

#5 jboyst62

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:36 PM

Why should a non prof pay taxes?  Susan komen found., live strong, PETA, hsus, the catholic church.... are no different.

#6 Fingon

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

View PostKollegeStudnet, on 22 May 2013 - 01:16 PM, said:

Never knew this...may the NFL pay taxes like all of us!
They do.

#7 NoSaint

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:41 PM

View Postjboyst62, on 22 May 2013 - 01:36 PM, said:

Why should a non prof pay taxes?  Susan komen found., live strong, PETA, hsus, the catholic church.... are no different.

i think a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their heads around what the legal/tax definition of "the nfl" amounts to, and just hear "10 billion tax free?!?!?!?!"

which is why im looking forward to reading this article (assuming it actually digs into that issue instead of just yelling "10b tax free?!?!?!? in order to generate clicks).

#8 Offsides Number 76

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

View Postjboyst62, on 22 May 2013 - 01:36 PM, said:

Why should a non prof pay taxes?  Susan komen found., live strong, PETA, hsus, the catholic church.... are no different.

The reasons given in Justice Stevens's opinion show one way in which the NFL is different.

The other way is that the charities you mentioned are 501©(3) organizations.  Subsection 501©(6) goes to lengths to shoehorn professional football leagues--and only football, no other sport--into an exemption intended to protect business associations and chambers of commerce.  Why the special treatment?

(I wonder whether MLS claims that its sport is "football" to take advantage of this.)

#9 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:48 PM

View Postjboyst62, on 22 May 2013 - 01:36 PM, said:

Why should a non prof pay taxes?  Susan komen found., live strong, PETA, hsus, the catholic church.... are no different.

If you added the NFL to that list, you could then ask the question "which one of these things is not like the others?"

Haven't read the article yet but I'm curious to know more on the subject.

Edited by San Jose Bills Fan, 22 May 2013 - 01:48 PM.


#10 Mr. WEO

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

View PostNoSaint, on 22 May 2013 - 01:41 PM, said:

i think a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their heads around what the legal/tax definition of "the nfl" amounts to, and just hear "10 billion tax free?!?!?!?!"

which is why im looking forward to reading this article (assuming it actually digs into that issue instead of just yelling "10b tax free?!?!?!? in order to generate clicks).

It doesn't dig too deep.  It says the US govt is losing out on $91 million in taxes.  At 35% corporate rate, that's $260 million "profit" in the NFL.  The "$10 billion" is all the money generated by the league and the vast majority of it is fully, heavily taxed at every level.

This is a minor issue.  Populist stuff.

#11 NoSaint

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:22 PM

View PostMr. WEO, on 22 May 2013 - 02:14 PM, said:



It doesn't dig too deep.  It says the US govt is losing out on $91 million in taxes.  At 35% corporate rate, that's $260 million "profit" in the NFL.  The "$10 billion" is all the money generated by the league and the vast majority of it is fully, heavily taxed at every level.

This is a minor issue.  Populist stuff.

thats kind of what i suspected, but when i clicked and saw it looked a bit heavier in content than the average "nfl tax exempt?!?!?!" article, i was hoping that it would in turn actually contain more information. it seems like we get a lot of these as throwaway stories to rile up the crowds, but id actually be interested if a journalist took on a look at "the nfl" and its structure and how that relates to legal issues such as taxation/tax exempt status.



#12 mitchmurraydowntown

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

The owners should pool the tax savings for new stadium construction, then it'd go towards something to improve the league.

Start with Buffalo's stadium first.

#13 Mr. WEO

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:12 PM

View Postmitchmurraydowntown, on 22 May 2013 - 02:28 PM, said:

The owners should pool the tax savings for new stadium construction, then it'd go towards something to improve the league.

Start with Buffalo's stadium first.

They do.  Read the article.

#14 jeremy2020

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:15 PM

I'm sure there are plenty of things you can hit the various NFL teams on in regards to dodging taxes. I'm sure there's a few irish corporations with no employees out there. This is a non-story though.

#15 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:21 PM

Two questions in my mind:

1) Is this a valid legal status?

2) Is this an appropriate status?

The NFL as a whole is a money-making venture after all. Still haven't had a moment to read the article but the implied question is whether this  status is a justifiable tax dodge.

What is the status of the NBA? The NHL?

Major League Baseball?

These are the first and most obvious questions.

#16 NoSaint

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:42 PM

View PostSan Jose Bills Fan, on 22 May 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Two questions in my mind:

1) Is this a valid legal status?

2) Is this an appropriate status?

The NFL as a whole is a money-making venture after all. Still haven't had a moment to read the article but the implied question is whether this  status is a justifiable tax dodge.

What is the status of the NBA? The NHL?

Major League Baseball?

These are the first and most obvious questions.

I know the status is unique to the nfl. I'm not sure what the others are filed as, and if there is any true distinction within their operations that would separate them.



#17 Mr. WEO

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:51 PM

View PostSan Jose Bills Fan, on 22 May 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Two questions in my mind:

1) Is this a valid legal status?

2) Is this an appropriate status?

The NFL as a whole is a money-making venture after all. Still haven't had a moment to read the article but the implied question is whether this  status is a justifiable tax dodge.

What is the status of the NBA? The NHL?

Major League Baseball?

These are the first and most obvious questions.

Legal since 1966.  Never invalidated.  The NHL and NBA enjoy the same status.  MLB gave up its exemption not long ago.

The teams make the vast amount of the money that is made by the league (97% if you extrapolate the info from the article).  Half of that is paid to players, who are taxed at the local, state and federal highest levels. The rest is paid for team expenses and staff (who are also taxed).  Any profit declared by teams is also taxed at the local, state and federal levels.

So really what seems to be at issue is the $260 million or so the "NFL" brings in as an entity.  That would yield the "missing" $91 million in tax revenue they are currently exempt from paying.  A symbolic amount by any standard when discussing corporate welfare or tax avoidance.  Also, such a tiny amount could be easily made to disappear by the NFL so as to still yield zero tax revenue even without exempt status.

This is pure political haymaking.  The congressman making hay about this knows it's BS.

#18 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:52 PM

Thanks WEO.

It's interesting that MLB gave up their tax exempt status.

#19 Mr. WEO

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:59 PM

View PostSan Jose Bills Fan, on 22 May 2013 - 06:52 PM, said:

Thanks WEO.

It's interesting that MLB gave up their tax exempt status.

The article said they did it because they didn't want to reveal the salaries of league execs, which is an odd reason.  But it tells me that the tax exempt status is mainly symbolic and not very valuable in dollars.  Extra money can disappear as "charity" and massive executive pay (see Goodell's huge jump in salary.  The NFL doesn't care who knows exec pay).

#20 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:13 PM

I just read the article.

Let me start by saying that I believe that both individuals and corporations pay too much in taxes in this country.

I also believe that the amount in question (in the grand scheme of things) is insignificant.

Also the piece is written by Doug Farrar who's an excellent football writer but is quite possibly not qualified to editorialize on this subject.

That said, I'm troubled by the idea that the NFL can enjoy the same status as, for instance, a Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, there's some sort of shell game going on with the NFL's money.

I think it's a very fair question as to whether this is an appropriate tax status for professional sports leagues.