NFL Drops Tax Exempt Status
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2015 Share
Following introduction of legislation to end the availability of tax-exempt status for professional sport leagues, the National Football League (NFL) central office announced that it will voluntarily relinquish its tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(6). The proposed bill, Properly Reducing Overexemptions for Sports Act (PRO Sports Act) (H.R. 547), introduced in January, would remove professional sports leagues with gross receipts of more than $10 million from the list of tax-exempt organizations. The NFL, which generates billions in annual revenue and pays its officers multi-million dollar salaries, was also facing increasing public criticism for its claim to be operating as a tax-exempt.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement in an April 28 letter to team owners. Goodell explained that the league's central office had decided to surrender its tax-exempt status. Income earned by the league's 32 for-profit teams is taxable, and this will remain unchanged when the league office files returns as a taxable entity, Goodell added.
Lawmakers welcomed the announcement. "We are extremely pleased with the decision from the NFL to waive its tax-exempt status. We hope that the other professional sports organizations in similar situations will follow the positive example set by the NFL and pay their taxes just as everyone else is required to do," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a joint statement. Chaffetz was the sponsor of the PRO Sports Act.
Senator Angus King, I-Maine, characterized the NFL's decision as a "touchdown for the American people." Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., joined King in responding positively to the announcement. "The announcement by the NFL is a victory for taxpayers and a long overdue step forward for the nation's largest sports league," Cantwell said in a statement.
Posted in Tax And Accounting Topics For Business
Disclaimer: The information contained in Dulin, Ward & DeWald’s blog is provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice on any subject matter. Before taking any action based on this information, we strongly encourage you to consult competent legal, accounting or other professional advice about your specific situation. Questions on blog posts may be submitted to your DWD representative.