TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, June 18, 2011

IRS Sets Trap at US Open, Seeks Slice of Foreign Golfers' Endorsement Income

2011-U.S.-Open-Golf-logo Following up on last week's post, Retief Goosen Birdies at FedEx St. Jude Classic, Bogeys in Tax Court: the MSM and blogs have picked up the story:

"[T]he IRS is paying attention to how high-profile performers earn money, said Lucy Lee, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington. “They’re watching what clubs are being used, what logo’s being displayed on the bags, the uniforms, and they’re taking notes,” said Lee, whose clients include female Korean golfers."

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I remember when the IRS went to The Master's tournament in Augusta and were writing down all the registration numbers on the private planes and checking them back against corporate records for personal use. It seems wrong to me to target a group of people without some evidence that its individuals have done something wrong. They might as well just audit every pro golfer or athelete.

One other thing that the IRS has been doing this year is to automatically reject deductions for fees paid to professional sports agents who negotiate contracts. It doesn't matter that the deduction is obviously legitimate. The Service just disallows them without even contacting the taxpayers first, and then forces the taxpayers to come back and defend those deductions. It's not fair and is a waste of time and money.

Posted by: Woody | Jun 19, 2011 10:13:42 AM

If a UK golfer wears shirt and cap promoting a UAE hotel chain while winning the U.S. Open, how much does IRS collect?

Posted by: Bob | Jun 19, 2011 7:59:56 PM