VCG Sports Presents Jock Tax: State-by-State Taxation of Professional Athletes Income

Jock Tax is a focused enforcement of state income tax (non-resident) taxation for professional athletes who travel to another state as a part of their employment.

How does jock tax affect professional athletes income?

The amount of income (game check) that a state can claim varies state by state. Some states charge a flat-rate to be deducted from each players game check and other states deduct based off a percentage.

Example: Kansas City Chiefs

Any Chief player maintaining a legal residence in the State of Missouri will spend 20/206 “duty days” — beginning during pre-season — and concluding at the end of the post season, playing (working) in other states, excluding playing playoff road games and Superbowl LIII if qualified. 

Duty days: Consist of players traveling to (8) different states — (7) which will require Chief players to be taxed on earned income. Each road game is counted as (2) duty days. 

Road games by State: California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington (no jock tax). All states deduct on average 1% of player salary except for California (2.9%). 

Break down of game check after jock tax deducted.


Russell Wilson: $12.6M Salary 

Away Game: San Francisco 49ers

Date: 11/26/17

State Duty Day: 2

Total Duty Days: 160

Duty Day Ratio: 1.25%

State Income: $157,500

State Income Tax Rate: 13.3%

Total Tax Bill Due: $20,947

Questions? Contact [email protected]