The 50th Super Bowl happened last Sunday, and Broncos fans are still reveling from their victory.
We all know that football players make absurdly high salaries – but you rarely hear about their even more absurd tax burdens. The figures may cause even Bernie Sanders to wince.
Note that the article’s calculations were made before the game.
Payton Manning is back in the Super Bowl against the highly-talented and highly-compensated Cam Newton, who signed a five-year, $103.8 million contract extension in June. Newton has already earned $58,800 so far this year for week 17 of the 2015 season and $71,000 in playoff bonuses. Newton is due a $13 million base salary for the 2016 season plus $7 million, which is the deferred part of his $22.5 million signing bonus from last year’s contract. Luckily, week 17 next season will occur on New Year’s Day 2017, thus shielding about $765,000 from California’s grasp.
If the Panthers win the Super Bowl, Newton will earn another $102,000 in playoff bonuses, but if they lose he will only net another $51,000. The Panthers will have about 206 total duty days during 2016, including the playoffs, preseason, regular season and organized team activities (OTAs), which Newton must attend or lose $500,000. Seven of those duty days will be in California for the Super Bowl and another four will be in the Golden State for road games against
St. LouisLos Angeles and Oakland next season.
Win on Sunday, and Newton will pay California a total of $138,250 in taxes in 2016. Lose, and he will pay $137,900 based on an income reduction of $51,000.
To determine what Newton will pay California on his Super Bowl winnings alone, we will ignore the four 2016 season duty days and pretend they are being played elsewhere. In looking at the seven days Newton will spend in California this week for Super Bowl 50, he will pay the state $88,000 on $102,000 of income should the Panthers be victorious or $87,800 on $51,000 should they lose.
The result: Newton will pay California 86.3% of his Super Bowl earnings if the Panthers win. Losing means his effective tax rate will be a whopping 172.2%. Oh yeah, he will also pay the IRS 40.5% on his earnings.
When they’re facing taxes like that, the Broncos’ fans may be celebrating their victory, but for the players themselves, the taste of victory is their silver lining.
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