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Wealthy athletes face off with tax season

by Alyssa Daley-Executive Editor
Wed, Feb 8th 2017 05:00 pm
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 As the majority of us range from 19 to 24 years old, we are either preparing to take part in our first tax season or gearing up for yet another few weeks of going through paperwork and worrying about finances. For ex-professional football player David Beckham, taxes aren't just something he thinks about from January to February. On the first of this month, Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham who is a celebrity in her own right, released how much they pay in taxes.

What I find particularly hilarious about this is that the president of the United States has yet to do this and yet celebrities and public figures like the Beckhams are choosing to show at least a portion of their tax information. I'm not sure what the couple hoped to gain from revealing this information to the general public.

According to nme.com the Beckhams paid nearly £22,000 a day — that's $27512.10 in 2015 in taxes. To me this seems like a lot of money, which is perhaps because I don't even make this amount in a year right now, but this could be the effect they were hoping to get from the middle class.

The discussion of how tax cuts for the rich are running rampant especially with Donald Trump's economic plan which will do just that despite what his middle class supporters believe. For the Beckhams, who make a joint profit of £39.5 million, the £7.9 million the couple paid in taxes isn't really all that much. They are left with £31.6m, are each both very successful in what they do, are able to own multiple properties and take vacations to exotic destinations whenever they have free time available.

Considering that in the U.S. the average working class citizen pays more in taxes than the top one percent, according to politifact.com, when celebrities and millionaires/billionaires reveal how much they have paid in taxes it can prove to the middle class just how unfair and unequal our and many other countries' forms of taxation are for the majority of taxpayers.

The Beckhams are not the only family apart of the athletic community who have the privilege of earning big money, but in the U.S. there is such a thing known as a jock tax that requires athletes to not only apply for income tax in their resident states but also in some of the states or cities they play in.

According to USA Today most states/cities calculate how much an athlete needs to pay by measuring the time they spend in their respective destinations in "duty days." Duty days are "the number of workdays spent in the state, including practice days when games are not played, divided by the number of workdays in a season, usually including preseason workdays."

So of course the majority of pro-athletes are upset by this or have accepted it but still believe it is an inconvenience. In a way I side with them. I mean, who is the IRS to decide that pro-athletes who make on average $4 million dollars according to The Huffington Post should have to pay more in taxes than the other millionaires who may sing, act, dance, etcetera. This goes both ways though — the pro-athletes should feel the middle-lower classes' pain when every year they have to fork over more than what they believe to be their share in taxes.

Personally I believe that the income tax was created with the best intentions. It imposes taxes on people based on their income however it is the tax avoidance strategies that the top one percent like our current president like to utilize which creates an inequality amongst the masses when it comes to taxation.

Unfortunately for David Beckham the phrase, "when it rains, it pours" is most definitely true. Not only is Beckham paying quite a bit more than many others in taxes but it has now become public knowledge that he was declined the honor of being knighted in Britain in 2014. Knighthood in England recognizes those who uphold the medieval value of chivalry and would have been a result of Beckham's many efforts through UNICEF and other charity organizations which his entire family now volunteers through. According to dailymail.co.uk it is because of Beckham's accused involvement in tax evasion that this has happened.                                                      

It is unfortunate for Beckham that he lost his chance at being called Sir Beckham but it is also shameful that those with the most privileges always seem to want more while those with less seem to be more content with what they have been afforded.

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