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NFL gives up tax exempt status

The National Football League announced it will, in the future, file returns as a taxable entity.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The National Football League is giving up its not-for-profit tax status.

“The income generated by football has always been earned by the 32 clubs and taxable there,” said a statement from Robert McNair, chairman of the league finance committee and owner of the Houston Texans. “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.”

An estimate from the Citizens for Tax Justice found the league saved only about $10 million a year from the tax break, which is a rounding error for an enterprise the size of the NFL, which pulls in more than $1 billion in profits.

But the controversial tax break also required the league to disclose the salary of its commissioner and other top league executives. Roger Goodell received $35 million for the most recently disclosed year, a fact that was known only due to the tax status.