We've seen it many times: an athlete isn't happy about something, says or does something in response, and gets a hefty fine.

Sure, they make a ton of money that us Poors will never even smell, but why would you do or say something, knowing that it'll cost you tens - if not hundreds - of thousands of dollars? For the tax deduction, dummy!

Professional Athletes Can Write-Off Fines as Tax Deductions

$100,000 is a lot of money. Don't cry for Rudy, though: his 2024 salary is $43,827,587. The athletes who earn the fines can afford them. Even not-necessarily athletes like New England Patriots crabbypants/head coach Bill Belichick's $500,000 fine for illicitly filming another team actually saved him some money...in taxes.

Because sports professionals can write-off their fines as a deduction on their federal taxes.


In the world of tax law, these fines are "unreimbursed work expenses". Just like us Poors who can deduct work expenses like travel and meals if our company doesn't pay us back - and as long as they reach a certain level (2% of your adjusted gross income) - sports pros can deduct expenses like agent fees, attorney fees, accountant fees...and fines.

Since sports pros can lose their jobs if they don't pay the fines they incur, they can justify deducting fines from their taxes. As long as they don't break federal rules when they break league rules, they can deduct the fine as an unreimbursed work expense.

In turn, they can't deduct a speeding ticket, because that's breaking the law of the land.

I'm glad that I learned that part before trying to earn myself and FCC fine to try to use as a tax deduction. Dang it.

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H/T: The Atlantic


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