PGA Tour pros pick where they live based on taxes

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life - by peter finch

PGA TOUR STARS TEND TO CON­GRE­GATE IN Florida, Texas and Ne­vada – and not just be­cause they like fresh-squeezed orange juice, 10-gal­lon hats and roulette wheels.

▶ They make their homes there be­cause of some­thing those lo­ca­tions lack: state in­come taxes. ▶ One of the rea­sons that some non-Amer­i­can tour pros live in places like the Ba­hamas, the Cay­man Is­lands and the Bri­tish Virgin Is­lands is that these coun­tries im­pose no in­come tax. Un­like US cit­i­zens who must pay fed­eral in­come tax on their world­wide in­comes, re­gard­less of where they live, most in­ter­na­tional play­ers can es­cape nearly all in­come taxes in their orig­i­nal home coun­try by mov­ing to a tax haven and es­tab­lish­ing their pri­mary res­i­dence there. ▶ The fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits are huge. When you earn more than $1 mil­lion a year, mak­ing your home in a tax haven or no-in­come-tax state could save you hun­dreds of thou­sands an­nu­ally. ▶ Phil Mick­el­son caught some flak for com­plain­ing about his big Cal­i­for­nia tax bill in 2013. One can ar­gue whether it was bad form to gripe about it pub­licly, but this much is un­de­ni­able: He does pay a lot more in state taxes than many of his fel­low tour pros. As­sum­ing Phil and his wife, Amy, are fil­ing jointly, the Mick­el­sons pay the state about 13 per­cent of their tax­able in­come. That adds up: Be­fore ex­penses, Golf Di­gest es­ti­mates Phil earned more than $37 mil­lion in on- and off-course in­come in 2016. Pros like Dustin John­son (Florida), Jor­dan Spi­eth (Texas) and Ryan Moore (Ne­vada) can keep that state tax money for them­selves.

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