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Old 02-18-2013   #1
Double Barrel
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Default Did you know that the NFL is a tax-exempt nonprofit?

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Did you know that the NFL is a tax-exempt nonprofit?

Once in a while, I run across something that I did not know and it leaves me flabbergasted.

For example, I did not know that the National Football League, the colossus of professional sports, is classified as a non-profit — a tax-free non-profit, to be more specific. That’s right: The NFL has its own exemption, written into federal law, that makes it exempt from federal corporate taxes.

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As described in Waste Book 2012 — compiled by the staff of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma:

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In 2010, the registered NFL nonprofit alone received $184 million from its 32 member teams. It holds over $1 billion in assets. Together with its subsidiaries and teams – many of which are for-profit, taxed entities – the NFL generates an estimated $9 billion annually. Each of its teams are among the top 50 most expensive sports teams in the world, ranking alongside the world’s famous soccer teams. Almost half of professional football teams are valued at over $1 billion….

League commissioners and officials benefit from the nonprofit status of their organizations. Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, reported $11.6 million in salary and perks in 2010 alone. Goodell’s salary will reportedly reach $20 million in 2019. Steve Bornstein, the executive vice president of media, made $12.2 million in 2010. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue earned $8.5 million from the league in 2010. The league paid five other officials a total of $19.2 million in just one year. In comparison, the next highest salary of a traditional nonprofit CEO is $3.4 million.
The NFL’s exemption stems from a 1966 law, passed at the time of the merger with the old American Football League, specifically allowing “professional football leagues” to enjoy 501(c)(6) status as tax-exempt trade organizations. Other leagues have piggy-backed on that legislation to claim that status themselves.

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So get local taxpayers to pay for the stadiums that allow owners to rake in millions in profits and over-pay athlete entertainers, while paying nothing in taxes on those massive profits?

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Old 02-18-2013   #2
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Default Re: Did you know that the NFL is a tax-exempt nonprofit?

So is the Catholic church ... which one has caused more head trauma?
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Old 02-18-2013   #3
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Default Re: Did you know that the NFL is a tax-exempt nonprofit?

This has been discussed before, and while technically it's true, it's misleading to a large extent.

The NFL as an organization is tax-exempt, but that doesn't mean the individual franchises are - they're not. And virtually all of what would be profit is either generated at or funneled down to the individual franchise level.

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The league’s tax-exempt status became a talking point during the 2011 lockout, with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith repeatedly chiding the league regarding a label more commonly associated with charities. The league’s position was, and is, that all money flows through the league office to the teams, and the teams pay the taxes. That’s what NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told CNN.com in response to Coburn’s contentions.

Here’s the reality. The NFL fits within the current legal definition of a non-profit business association. If the IRS disagrees, then the issue should be litigated. And if Congress thinks that the government is getting screwed by the definition of a non-profit business association, Congress should pass a new law.
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