USA Today Quotes Meghan Biss on Excise Tax For College Football Coach Payouts
Major-college athletics departments likely will end up spending a combined total of at least $200 million in connection with football coaching and staff changes made during and after the 2023 season, a USA TODAY Sports analysis has found.
The figure is based on commitments related to the firings and hirings of head coaches, assistant coaches and strength coaches, according to school documents obtained through open-records requests and e-mails with athletics department officials.
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The excise tax also could affect Mississippi State, which fired Zach Arnett as head coach. Most of Arnett’s total annual compensation comes from the Bulldog Club, Inc., a non-profit group that has its own contracts with the school’s most prominent and highly paid coaches that it refuses to disclose. However, in a situation that makes Mississippi State different from many state universities, its controller and treasurer’s office web site says the school gets its tax-exempt status in a way that also makes the school subject to the excise tax.
But Arnett’s state contract requires him to seek a new job and offsetting income. If the offset drops his payout below $1 million in a given year, the excise tax would not apply, said Meghan R. Biss a tax attorney in the Washington office of Caplin & Drysdale who previously worked as the technical adviser to the IRS’ director of exempt organizations.
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