Products & Pricing
Online products
CD/download products
Mobile products
Self-employment taxes
Small business taxes
Military
Compare products
TurboTax Advantage
Previous years' products
File an IRS extension
Access my downloads
Tools & Tips
Tax calculators
Tax tips & videos
Track my donations
TurboTax blog
After You File
Track my refund
Check my e-file status
Print my return
Amend my return
Access prior year returns
Go to Turbo
Help
TurboTax Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Expert Services
How TurboTax works
Security
Tax Reform

Taxes for the Highest Paid Athletes

Updated for Tax Year 2015


OVERVIEW

To the victor go the spoils in professional athletics, but those with the biggest salaries and endorsements also have hefty tax obligations. While it's rare that solid tax figures for private individuals are released, most high-earning athletes are subject to the top U.S. tax rate. See how these sports stars help keep our economy running.


1. LeBron James

He may be one of the biggest stars in the NBA, but LeBron James also has one of the biggest tax bills among pro basketball players. Thanks to "jock tax" laws enacted by many states, LeBron—living in Florida, which has no state income tax—still pays income tax in 18 other states he plays basketball in, as well as federal taxes of about $17 million at the 39.6% maximum rate. His total gross income for 2015 was $64.8 million.

2. Von Miller

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller delivered one of the best performances of any defensive player in football history during the 2016 Super Bowl—earning him MVP status and a salary of almost $10 million in 2015.

Miller’s a single guy, so if he pays at the big-earner maximum of 39.6% on income over $413,200, he may owe somewhere in the neighborhood of:

  • $396,000 x 9 = $3,564,000 in tax payments.

Even though his state of residence, Texas, has no income tax, he’ll be subject to the “jock tax” laws for income tax in other states he played in during the year, including California.

3. Floyd Mayweather

When boxer Floyd Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao, he grossed some $220 million, but he didn't take it all home. Mayweather takes the prize as the highest-earning athlete in 2015, grossing some $300 million, but he'll probably be the biggest taxpayer, as well.

The maximum income tax rate in 2015 for single big earners is 39.6% on income over $413,200, amounting to tax due from Mayweather of about $120 million, barring any tax deductions he could claim.

4. Roger Federer

Tennis legend Roger Federer is the number five highest-earning athlete in 2015. But, he's put the right spin on his tax situation by moving to Wollerau, Switzerland, one of the lowest-tax municipalities in Europe.

This should help him hold onto some of the $67 million he earned in 2015 in winnings and endorsements. The top tax rate in Wollerau is a very low 11.56%, but that still means Federer owed a tax bill of some $7 million.

5. Phillip Rivers

It’s estimated that San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers will pay approximately 50% of his estimated $37.5 million income in 2015 in taxes, making him the highest taxed player in the NFL. Rivers’ hefty tax bill is partially due to his high federal tax income rate and the “jock tax”, but since he plays for one of three teams located in California, Rivers is also subject to the highest state-level tax in the U.S. at 13.3%.

6. Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburg Pirate Andrew McCutchen may be an all-star on the baseball field, but he is also an all-star in the eyes of the IRS. The outfielder took home around $10 million in 2015 thanks to a six-year $51.5 million contract extension. But with all that cash in the bank, Uncle Sam gets a big slice—McCutchen again falls into the highest tax bracket of 41.95%, plus dues associated with the “jock tax” for days “worked” while playing America’s pastime in cities and states like Illinois and St. Louis.

A TurboTax solution for every situation

See which tax prep product is right for you

Looking for more information?

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

Security is built into everything we do
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. $0 federal (for simple tax returns) + $0 state + $0 to file offer only available with TurboTax Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live for Extension Filers: To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed through 4/30/20, you must pay for your 2018 TurboTax Self-Employed or TurboTax Live return by 4/15/19 and sign-in and access your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax at least twice by 7/15/19. You will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 4/30/20 for another year at the then-current subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison. Offer not valid for existing QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers already on a payment plan.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2018. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • TurboTax Live Reviews: Displayed reviews are for the TurboTax Live standalone service from Tax Year 2017 and not for the new Turbo Tax product / TurboTax Live bundle available for Tax Year 2018.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $39.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2019. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, EAs or tax attorneys. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. In the event your return is reviewed by a tax expert and requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign your return as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return (payment by the federal refund not available when tax expert signs your return). On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live CPAs and EAs refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access, Smart Insights and My Docs features: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available through 10/31/2020. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • Easy Online Amend: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, TurboTax Live or with PLUS benefits. Make changes to your 2018 tax return online for up to 3 years after it has been filed and accepted by the IRS through 10/31/2021. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2017 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com January 29, 2018.
  • Get tips from Turbo based on your tax and credit data to help get you to where you want to be: Tax and credit data accessed upon your consent.
  • TURBOTAX GUARANTEES

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest.
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee - or Your Money Back: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. TurboTax Online Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $14.99 and a refund of your state purchase price paid.
  • 100% Accurate Expert Approved Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty (or interest) because of an error that a TurboTax CPA, EA, or Tax Attorney made while providing topic-specific tax advice, a section review, or acting as a signed preparer for your return, we'll pay you the penalty and interest.
  • Audit Support Guarantee: If you received an audit letter based on your 2018 TurboTax return and are not satisfied with how we responded to your inquiry, we’ll refund the applicable TurboTax federal 1040 and/or state purchase price you paid. TurboTax Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $14.99 and a refund of your state purchase price paid. We will not represent you or provide legal advice. Excludes TurboTax Business.
  • TurboTax Free Guarantee: $0 Federal + $0 State + $0 To File offer is available for simple tax returns with TurboTax Free Edition. A simple tax return is Form 1040 only, with no attached schedules.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed:
    • If you use TurboTax Online or Mobile:
      Satisfaction Guaranteed — or you don't pay. You may use TurboTax Online without charge up to the point you decide to print or electronically file your tax return. Printing or electronically filing your return reflects your satisfaction with TurboTax Online, at which time you will be required to pay or register for the product.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax from a retailer:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it to Intuit within 60 days of purchase with your dated receipt for a full refund.
    • If you bought or downloaded TurboTax directly from us:
      Try TurboTax software. If you're not satisfied, return it within 60 days of shipment with your dated receipt for a full refund (excluding shipping & handling).
  • TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $39.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2017 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; may require a free Intuit online account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2016 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2014 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.
About
Online Software Products
CD/Download Products
Mobile Tax Apps
Help and Support
Tax Tools and Tips
More Products from Intuit