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NFL explains that it does indeed pay taxes

Huell

From time to time, the NFL faces criticism and confusion over its ‘tax-exempt” status.  Some think this means the NFL and its teams pay no taxes at all.

But taxes are indeed paid.  And the NFL felt compelled to point this out on Friday, in the wake of the news that Commissioner Roger Goodell has been paid roughly $74 million in the two-year period beginning April 1, 2011 and ending March 31, 2013.

‘NFL attorney Jeremy Spector notes the league pays taxes on every dollar of income that it earns,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said via Twitter.

“Claims that the NFL is using a tax exemption to avoid paying the tax due on these revenues are simply misinformed,” Spector said.  “The confusion arises from the fact that there is one small part of the NFL unrelated to all this business activity, that is tax-exempt:  The N.F.L. league office.”

Specter is right.  The money passes through the league office to its teams, and the teams pay the taxes.

Still, the NFL undoubtedly realizes a net benefit by using this structure — especially since the league could keep the compensation of Goodell and other key executives completely secret if the league office weren’t exempt from taxation.

That’s the real question, which the NFL probably won’t be answering via Twitter or otherwise.  (We’ll ask them anyway.)  How much money is saved by using this approach?

Yes, taxes are paid.  But the taxes are surely less than they would be, unless the NFL has no concern about telling the world that Commissioner Roger Goodell has made in two years nearly 60 percent of the one-season spending limit for an entire team.

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34 Responses to “NFL explains that it does indeed pay taxes”
  1. green41563 says: Feb 14, 2014 7:16 PM

    They have to cheat! Do you expect Roger Goodell to make ends meet on only $30 million?!

  2. epack13sb says: Feb 14, 2014 7:17 PM

    Thanks for the glimpse into the lives of the 1%, now back to the other 99%.

  3. pathsovglory says: Feb 14, 2014 7:19 PM

    numbers come out and suddenly everyone’s an economist.

  4. meatcarroll says: Feb 14, 2014 7:19 PM

    Damage control.

  5. fxg0201 says: Feb 14, 2014 7:23 PM

    And chearleaders earn below minimum wage.

  6. thevikesarebest says: Feb 14, 2014 7:26 PM

    And we the Minnesota vikings will pay a visit to the lombardi in Arizona next year when our dynasty has completely started.the cheeseheads will be beyond upset.SKOL

  7. rockyburnette says: Feb 14, 2014 7:28 PM

    “Yes, taxes are paid. But the taxes are surely less than they would be…”

    Do you pay more than you have to? Do you know anyone who does? Most businesses pay for expert advice in minimizing their tax burden. Call the NBC CFO’s office for further edification. If you have a beef with tax policy take it up with the jokers in DC, not with a business that legally structures itself to benefit its owners.

  8. nnagi says: Feb 14, 2014 7:33 PM

    that picture of buell is awesome…

  9. bert1913 says: Feb 14, 2014 7:40 PM

    why do the people that can afford to pay taxes, pay the least taxes?

  10. prince5000 says: Feb 14, 2014 7:40 PM

    Huell yeah bitch

  11. backdapack4evr says: Feb 14, 2014 7:43 PM

    And the Vikings can’t buy a Super Bowl!!
    Lol

  12. dirtmcgirt24 says: Feb 14, 2014 7:44 PM

    Thanks for clearing this up for the knuckleheads who have been complaning all day

  13. wwwmattcom says: Feb 14, 2014 7:47 PM

    OK OK OK, the question is, how can the 1%ers continue to get the 99% to fight itself?

  14. SilentMajority says: Feb 14, 2014 8:11 PM

    I’m not sure how people can call the NFL cheaters? Isn’t the tax code written to allow the NFL to do exactly what their doing?

  15. charlie2254 says: Feb 14, 2014 8:12 PM

    I like turtles

  16. hauts81 says: Feb 14, 2014 8:32 PM

    I don’t lose any sleep over this issue but the reality is that if the NFL wasn’t benefitting in some way from its tax-exempt status, the league would be smart to relinquish that status like MLB did years ago.

  17. turfdaddy says: Feb 14, 2014 8:38 PM

    It’s a ton of money but don’t most CEOs of $9B companies make a comparable salary? Yes he’s overpaid, but so are all the CEOs running a $9B business. Whether you like it or not, it’s a fair wage for comparable jobs.

  18. bpjensen says: Feb 14, 2014 8:45 PM

    Don’t really think there are any shenanigans going on here. Revenue is received by the league office. Expenses, including Goodell’s compensation, are deducted from the revenues. The leftover is passed through to the teams. Teams deduct their expenses.

    Really sounds no different than how partners in a partnership are taxed.

  19. 8oneanddones says: Feb 14, 2014 8:47 PM

    Does this remind anyone else of Mitt Romney’s response when he was asked about his tax returns?

  20. jayniner says: Feb 14, 2014 9:27 PM

    If everyone has such a problem with this, quit your sad jobs that pay you crap, start a football league, and you can do it yourself…….oh, I’m sorry, you don’t have the motivation, desire or money to do it? Steve Jobs started in his garage…..what’s your excuse?

    Signed,
    A small business owner.

  21. logicaillvoicesays says: Feb 14, 2014 10:05 PM

    thevikesarebest says:
    Feb 14, 2014 7:26 PM
    And we the Minnesota vikings will pay a visit to the lombardi in Arizona next year when our dynasty has completely started.the cheeseheads will be beyond upset.SKOL

    Please stop trolling and come up with own material. All your lines and comments are duplicates of mine. You Just put Vikings in place of where I put redskins.

    #beurownman#burgundyandgoldstandard#hail

  22. dcapettini says: Feb 14, 2014 10:20 PM

    The US has the highest corporate tax rates in the world but its corporations pay the least tax in the world. That way the rich people can constantly complain about how high the tax rates are and still keep all their money. It works the same way for individual taxes. The middle class pays for everything that isn’t borrowed from the Chinese.

  23. patriotenvy says: Feb 14, 2014 10:58 PM

    And college athletes don’t get paid.

  24. mattseas says: Feb 14, 2014 11:35 PM

    They need to offset the amount of taxes paid by teams by the amount teams take from taxpayers to build their stadiums.

  25. iamthegreatcornflorio says: Feb 15, 2014 12:09 AM

    Every mind-controlled socialist knows that it is their civic duty to turn over however much of their earnings that the politicians demand. Of course, most of them don’t actually pay any taxes, and they collect an “earned income” (not) tax refund every year.

  26. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Feb 15, 2014 4:10 AM

    So the league office is tax exempt takes in the money but the teams pay taxes. (Begin Sarcasm) Thanks for the clarification…

    What is the breakdown of all that?

  27. footballhistorian says: Feb 15, 2014 4:34 AM

    Of course – none of the discussion is about the ridiculousness of the tax system to begin with – eliminate the current system with all the exemptions, loop-holes, and other favoritism rules and just go with a flat tax….say about 15 – 17 %…for EVERYONE…

  28. hollymolley says: Feb 15, 2014 8:13 AM

    The NFL has become a very “controlled / scripted ” entity. I find myself falling away from all the distasteful antics. On another note remember, LYING is accepted in the NFL ( as well as everywhere else ). And, by far, there most important goal is to generate revenue. So from ( far to many ) political statements, hallow shows of fake patriotic statements. cheap displays, such as pink this, pink that, goofy lapel pins, huge field covering flags, military fly overs, reunite families at each game, make a show of the National Anthem, and don’t forget it’s all about the show and ( get ready) (here it comes) THE MONEY…. and No the NFL pays no taxes, there a non profit org. Keep in mind there it’s perfectly illegal to lie.

  29. qdog112 says: Feb 15, 2014 10:42 AM

    I certainly don’t begrudge Goodell’s $44 million or the NFL’s $9 billion. I was happy when his pals in congress killed my unemployment benefits and made it so I couldn’t have popcorn while watching the Super Bowl.

    But you did notice Goodell didn’t mention how much they paid in taxes. After all, this is the same organization that contributed a whole $1 million to the Katrina Fund, while they charged $4 million for a 30 second SB commercial.

    What we need is a shinny object to divert attention.

  30. shlort says: Feb 15, 2014 1:38 PM

    It is not a problem with revenues to the government, it is the spending problem the governemnt has when they try to buy votes.

    The biggest problem this country has is that the people have now realized that they can vote themselves money from the government. Game over.

  31. smc2783 says: Feb 15, 2014 1:44 PM

    In most cases, this is the same tax structure that every Partnership, LLC, and S-Corp in America uses. They are all “pass-through” structures for tax purposes. The business collects revenue, deducts expenses, and the net profit passes through to the owners, who then pay taxes on the profit.

    First, there is nothing sketchy about the NFL using a common and legal tax structure. Second, saying the “taxes are surely less than they would be” is pure speculation. They may be, they might not be. You’d have to go through the books of the NFL, and every NFL team to make that determination. The insinuation of something sinister going in is completely and utterly baseless.

  32. thelastpieceofcheese says: Feb 15, 2014 3:57 PM

    The NFL is with the 1% that pays 75% of all taxes.

  33. lukekuechlyrocks59 says: Feb 17, 2014 1:03 AM

    The NFL taxes aren’t high enough, and Goodell’s taxes are surely not high enough, either. To anyone that knows anything about the tax codes in this country know by seeing what Goodell earns, how much in taxes he DOESN’T PAY. Just like any CEO of a big corporation that rakes in the millions similar to Goodell’s pay, the tax loopholes STILL IN PLACE allow them to literally get away with robbery of the rest of us. Point is, NO ONE WITH ANY KIND OF JOB,( I DON’T GIVE A CRAP WHAT THE JOB IS ), IS WORTH 40 MILLION A YEAR!! YOU’VE REALLY GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! LET ME RE-ITERATE; NO ONE WORKING ANY KIND OF JOB, I MEAN ANY KIND AT ALL, IS NOT WORTH 40 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR!!! THAT IS THE CRAZIEST, MOST LUDICROUS THING I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!!! I COULD LIVE LIKE A KING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH 40 MILLION DOLLARS!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT. ROGER GOODELL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF FOR EVEN TAKING THAT ABSOLUTELY MIND-BOGGLING AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR ONE YEAR ON THE “JOB”!!! HATE IF YOU WANT…I DON’T CARE. THIS IS JUST PURELY SHAMEFUL, AND ANYONE THAT TAKES THAT KIND OF MONEY FOR ANY JOB FOR ONE YEAR SHOULD HAVE ALL OF IT EXCEPT FOR MAYBE 10,000 OF IT TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM, AND IT BE SPENT ON THE NEEDY. MY GOD, ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE!!!

  34. orcahawk says: Feb 17, 2014 12:27 PM

    Wow, you can tell it’s tax season.

    I actually like the idea of the League Office being a non-profit. I think it keeps it more transparent and less liable to corruption. Yes – Roger makes wayyy too much money, but I’m sure he pays a lot of taxes on that income (and surely weasels out of even more).

    For better or worse the financials on the NFL are very successful, and that’s a good thing for fans.

    If you want to talk politics and taxation then I’m an Eisenhower Republican, and will take those tax rates. I could be talked into Mr Footballhistorian’s flat tax (above), if we add an exemption to the first 20K earned…

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