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NFL relinquishes tax-exempt status; UT professor available for comment

The National Football League announced Tuesday that it is relinquishing its tax-exempt status.

“I think there are two things the NFL is trying to avoid – hassle and exposure,” said Geoffrey Rapp, Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values for The University of Toledo. “It’s tax-exempt status, like baseball’s antitrust exemption, adds little real value but it gives Congress a lever to hold hearings on any aspect of the NFL’s operations. By voluntarily giving this up, the NFL avoids future headaches at the hands of Congress.”

The NFL has been tax-exempt since 1942. However, all 32 teams pay taxes on their income, so the change will have little effect on the operation or function of the league.

During the annual meetings in March, the finance committee voted to change the tax status of the NFL’s league office and management council. Beginning with the 2015 fiscal year, the league office and management council will file returns as taxable entities.

“The NFL had attracted negative attention regarding the salaries it is forced to disclose as a nonprofit,” Rapp said. “Now, it has the same level of privacy as any non-publicly traded entity, to keep that information out of the public eye.”

To schedule an interview with Rapp, contact Aimee Portala at 419.530.4279.


is UT's Media Relations Specialist. Contact her at 419.530.2077 or
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