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April 30, 2015 Practice Points

NFL Gives Up Tax-Exempt Status

The status as a non-profit saved the league only about $10 million annually.

By Justin L. Heather

Earlier this week, the National Football League (NFL) announced that it was giving up its tax-exempt status. Although the NFL’s not-for-profit status has drawn criticism over the years, that status and recent move are fairly unimportant from a fiscal standpoint. Despite its tax-exempt status, the NFL’s approximate $1 billion in annual revenues is distributed to the 32 teams that make up the league, which in turn pay taxes on that income.

Indeed, the status as a non-profit saved the league only about $10 million annually. The move does mean, however, that the NFL need no longer disclose the salaries of commissioner Roger Goodell and other top executives. The league will also continue to enjoy a host of tax benefits as well as spending by state and local governments, including bonds used to finance the building and renovation of team stadiums. The NFL’s move is similar to those made by other organizations, including Major League Baseball.

Keywords: litigation, young lawyer, National Football League, tax-exempt status

— Justin L. Heather, YAC Content Manager, The Quinlan Law Firm LLC, Chicago, IL

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