TH3 FACT$ %N TAX
PGA Tour pros pick where they live based on taxes
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.