NFL is giving up its tax-exempt status

The NFL is volunteering to give up its tax-exempt status

Citing it as a "distraction," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in statement Tuesday that the league is giving up its status as a tax-exempt organization.

In a statement sent out to the NFL's 32 team owners and select members of Congress, Goodell outlined the voluntary move, saying it would not make a "material difference to our business."

Since 1966, the NFL has been granted tax-exempt 501(c)(6) status even though the 32 teams inside the league are subject to taxes as for-profit businesses.

The move, first reported by the Sports Business Journal, would allow the NFL to no longer be forced to disclose compensation figures for its top officials, including Goodell.

Starting next year, the NFL and its management council will file returns for the 2015 tax year.

Robert McNair, chairman of the NFL's finance committee and owner of the Houston Texans, released a statement regarding the decision:

"The income generated by football has always been earned by the 32 clubs and taxable there. This is the case whether the league office is tax exempt or taxable. The owners have decided to eliminate the distraction associated with misunderstanding of the league office’s status, so the league office will in the future file returns as a taxable entity."

 

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