TaxProf Blog

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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Johnny Football's Toughest Foe: Alabama or the IRS?

Manzel 2Following up on my previous post, Tax Issues for Manziel Raised From Alleged Autograph Income:

Everyone from opposing defenses to autograph dealers to the NCAA have tried to tackle Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in various forms in the last year, and the Heisman Trophy-winning sophomore has been too slippery for all of them.

But is he too slippery for the IRS?

That's essentially the question raised by, which wondered aloud with an opinion column this week about what Manziel's tax return will look like next April. Or perhaps more to the point, what it looked like last April. If indeed Manziel accepted money for thousands of autographs, as was aggregately alleged in three ESPN reports, he has a tough decision to make come tax time, writes attorney David Gair:

What should he do at tax time? Report the income or keep up his story that he never got anything? He is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he fails to report his income on his return, then he has just committed a crime. Willfully filing a false tax return is a felony that can net you three to five years in jail depending on the charge. But reporting the income on the tax return could be an admission that he violated NCAA rules. Between the two, if I were him, I would chose not to violate federal law.

Celebrity Tax Lore, Tax | Permalink


Assuming Manziel was paid, how would his filing a correct tax return be a problem? His tax information would be kept confidential by the IRS as long as he doesn't run for office as a Republican or donate to conservative causes.

Posted by: Woody | Sep 14, 2013 1:25:55 PM

Seems quite reasonable to me.

Posted by: chuck | Sep 16, 2013 12:05:28 PM