I am surrounded by Carolina Panthers fans. It can"t be helped. I was born and raised in north Carolina. I flourished up in the Panthers franchise era. Ns remember the hopefulness, the whispers, that at some point we might gain a nationwide Football organization team. That day came on July 29, 1995, as soon as the Panthers played your inaugural game (they won, besting the Jacksonville Jaguars through a score that 20-14).

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Carolina Panthers" video camer Newton (1) hands a touchdown ball to a young pan after scoring versus the... <+> Tampa bay Buccaneers throughout the first half of one NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. The Panthers winner 38-10. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)


I don"t live in north Carolina anymore. The doesn"t median that ns still don"t feel the love. Every year throughout football season, mine facebook feed is filled through Panthers video game pictures and memes. Ns can"t scroll under without being reminded come #keeppounding at the very least a few times every Sunday. Especially this year.

This year, v the Panthers going to the at sight Bowl, the excited is at all time high. And if my feeding is to be believed, over there is nearly no one I recognize that doesn"t think that quarterback video camer Newton to walk on water. This is a huge deal in one area where football and faith walk hand in hand.


Leading the optimal of the perform of "Things that video camer Newton does that provides him amazing" is a claim, widely circulated on Facebook, the Newton has been fined an ext than $250,000 for offering away footballs to children in the stands. The meme argues that Newton is fined $5,512 every time he hands a round to a young pan in the stand yet he does the anyway due to the fact that he"s reminded that he have to "never take nothing because that granted." It"s a exorbitant story. Only it isn"t true. Newton in reality does not acquire fined by the NFL because that handing out those footballs.

It"s simple to see how the rumor obtained started. It"s true the players deserve to be penalized for hiding the round or engaging in behavior that would hold-up the game. An extensive or extreme celebrations are likewise prohibited per NFL rules. And, for safety and security reasons, a player is not allowed to throw or absent a football right into the stands throughout a game.

(You have the right to read the whole NFL Rulebook here.)

Simply handing the round to a fan? The NFL doesn"t impose a penalty for that behavior.


But what if castle did?

The meme the was circulating argued that Cam"s actions was somehow charitable. Maybe in spirit. But not for income tax purposes.

If Newton really had actually been fined for handing those video game balls out - and paying the result fine - it would certainly not have actually resulted in a charitable donation for that no matter just how deserving the child can be. It"s no an enig that Newton singles out kids with one-of-a-kind stories. He"s handed the end a video game ball come Colin Toler, who attended a game just weeks ~ his father died, and Braylon Beam, who"s fighting cancer, simply to name a couple.

That is, however, not enough for the internal Revenue service (IRS). Charity donations to people do no qualify for a charity deduction. So, there"s no charity deduction because that handing the end a football, no matter how deserving the child nor how an important the ball. And, of course, paying a fine to a 3rd party for doing something charitable doesn"t counting either.

So, how about a organization deduction? If Newton had actually really been fined, might he have actually deducted those fines on his taxes as a business expense? It"s a fascinating concern - and here"s why.

I"ve detailed before the there"s no specific "football" section of the taxation Code. The very same rules apply for play football as use to, say, being a taxation attorney (except that among those renders a lot less money). The concern isn’t whether the certain behavior happened at the office (or top top the field) yet whether the expenses related to the actions are taken into consideration in the course of business. With taxes attorneys or sales clerks or architects, that’s not a horrible fuzzy line: we’re plain people and our organization and personal lives are generally quite separate. Once you’re a celebrity the heat is a bit much more blurred. Once you room your brand, it’s not fairly as an easy to different your company and personal behaviors right into neat compartments.

Penalty and also fines, however, are treated differently. A fine or punish is deductible together a company expense if it is considered an "ordinary and also necessary" expense in the taxpayer’s trade or business.

I think ~ above its face, Newton"s behavior would fail the test. An ordinary price is one that is common and also accepted in your profession or business. A necessary price is "one the is helpful and also appropriate for your profession or business." unequal the Belichick cheating scandal where the underlying actions – if perhaps morally despicable (sorry, i’m an Eagles fan) – created a favorable an outcome for Belichick, the fine for the actions could have been considered helpful and appropriate. If the goal was to win, climate cheating would execute it. Was that the only method to achieve that goal? It doesn’t matter. The IRS has actually clarified that an price does not have to be indispensable come be thought about necessary.

In this case, Newton"s behavior - the handing over of the sphere to a fan - doesn"t help him win. That doesn"t do him a better player (a far better person, maybe). It isn"t important to achieve his goal.

That, the course, assumes his goal is come win. Yet what about the organization of being camer Newton? go his behavior include to his brand? walk it make him a more valuable commodity? Maybe. When you go ago and answer the inquiry of whether the fines would be ordinary and necessary because that the business of being cam Newton, you can get a various answer 보다 before. Remember, again, that a necessary cost is one that is "helpful and also appropriate for your profession or business." On some level, of course, the prices were necessary: he needs to pay those fines in bespeak to save playing in the NFL. Yet are those fines helpful and appropriate for camer Newton"s trade or business? ns think that could depend top top what service you’re describing. Image does count in the NFL.

(For now, I"m putting aside the bigger argument that payment the fine for breaking the rule is totally necessary because that an NFL to continue to work: you deserve to read much more on the here.)

So, come recap, the NFL isn"t fining for cam Newton because that handing end the video game balls come his fans. But if the NFL were issuing a fine, while paying the good wouldn"t be a charitable donation for Newton, there"s an argument to it is in made the it might be a service expense, relying on which service you"re focusing on.

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Does any kind of of this make Newton"s actions much less special? Of food not. Handing end that game ball method something: to Newton, come the children who gain those balls and to the fans. In a year that"s fill with many news about what"s wrong with the NFL, ns think we can all agree that this is an instance of obtaining it right.

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