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Roger-Goodell-Struggle-480x270The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the National Football League has finally decided to relinquish the tax-exempt status it has enjoyed since 1942 and the league office will start filing income tax returns beginning with the 2015 fiscal year. Currently all 32 NFL franchises pay state and federal income taxes on their revenue, but the league as a whole has been listed as a a tax-exempt entity and has filed IRS Form 990 every year, which provides public details of compensation for positions such as the commissioner and other executives, due to the NFL filing as a tax-exempt group.

In a letter to Congress informing them of the league’s decision, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that doing this would eliminate the “distraction” that has become the league’s tax-exempt status.

“As you know, the effects of the tax-exempt status of the league office have been mischaracterized repeatedly in recent years. The fact is that the business of the NFL has never been tax exempt.

As a result, the committees decided to eliminate this distraction.”

As noted in the AP story, Major League Baseball got rid of its tax-exempt status back in 2007. The National Basketball Association is not listed as a tax-exempt organization, but the National Hockey League is. One of the benefits of not being tax-exempt is you do not need to publicly list the salaries of your highest-paid employees. Therefore, if the NFL chooses to do so, they can keep Goodell’s yearly compensation under wraps. (Goodell earned $35 million for the 2013 season alone.)

Per Sports Business Daily, the NFL is projected to rake in $12 billion in revenue for the 2015 season, a $1 billion increase over 2014. The league is projecting revenues to increase to as high as $25 billion in 2027.

Source: By: Justin Baragona

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