NFL exploits the same non-profit tax law that the IRS hounded the Tea Party over

That tax exemption over which the IRS is hassling the Tea Party? The NFL has exploited it for years

5/14/13 in NFL   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - NFL exploits the same non-profit tax law that the IRS hounded the Tea Party overIf you're following this "IRS-Tea Party scandal" thing, you might be surprised to find that a humongously profitable corporation is exploiting that very same tax exemption, and receiving no IRS scrutiny at all. You've probably heard that political groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement were singled out by the IRS for additional hassle and runaround when they applied for tax-exempt non-profit status. Whatever your feelings on the politics on Karl Rove or George Soros-funded political groups -- they all do some good things like voter registration drives, and they do genuinely aim to make the country a better place.

Yet there is no IRS hassle or runaround for the most profitable sports league in America, the National Football League. The NFL rakes in about $10 billion a year, yet the league pays no income taxes whatsoever  -- because they are technically classified as a "non-profit".

I think I just offshore tax sheltered in my mouth a little bit.

Quietly, the NFL has operated as a non-profit since 1966, back before the NFL became more profitable than a mid-size oil producing nation. The issue bubbled up last week when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced an amendment to end sports leagues' ability to operate as non-profits, as part of a larger bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act. (Which is supposed to be about Internet sales tax. This is how laws get made, I guess?)

Blog Photo - NFL exploits the same non-profit tax law that the IRS hounded the Tea Party overYou see, the NFL operates as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, which renders them exempt from paying federal income taxes. (The Tea Party groups were applying to become 501(c)(4) nonprofits.) Individual NFL teams operate as for-profit entities, but the league itself is classified as a nonprofit.

"Taxpayers may be losing at least $91 million subsidizing these tax loopholes for professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits," Senator Coburn's office said in a release.

There has been some backlash that Sen. Coburn's efforts are part a Republican conspiracy to punish NFL owners for supporting Democrats. "Maybe it’s that NFL Owners haven’t contributed to the GOP anywhere near as much as one would think," says a Football Reporters Online post. "The Dolphins billionaire owner Stephen Ross’ political donations have gone overwhelmingly to Democratic Candidates. Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones has given far more to independents than to Republicans."

This argument has as much credibility as me that one time I claimed I was banging Manti Te'o's girlfriend.

The Center for Responsive Politics found that NFL owners are far more supportive of conservative causes. The top three donating owners (Bob McNair, Woody Johnson, Alex Spanos) have donated almost exclusively to Republicans. "Overwhelmingly Democratic" Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross threw fundraisers for Mitt Romney during the elections.

Personally, I think the only organizations that ought to be tax-exempt are charities and religions. I don't see why sports leagues get this privilege -- but I have to concede that it's the law. It may be an unfair law, but you can rest assured that the NFL has the sharpest attorneys on speed dial to make sure that unfair law stays on the books.
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5/15/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

well... this IRS scandal is different... This organizations survive on donations,. The change in law allowed this organizations to grow and not have to expose the donors... the irs chose to ignore the law. this will prove criminal in the end...