Mixed Martial Arts Slapped With New York Tax

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By Andrew M. Ballard

Aug. 19 — New York is levying a tax on the newly authorized sports of kickboxing, single-discipline martial arts and mixed martial arts.

According to an Aug. 18 notice issued by the state Department of Taxation and Finance, promoters of such combative sporting events will be required to pay a gross receipts tax beginning Sept. 1.

The taxes differ from those previously imposed on boxing, sparring and wrestling matches.

Ban Lifted in April

In April, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law legislation lifting a ban on mixed martial arts contests that had been in place since 1997. The measure also imposed a gross receipts tax on the newly authorized combative sports of kickboxing, single-discipline martial arts and mixed martial arts.

The tax rates on boxing, sparring and wrestling matches or exhibitions weren't changed by the new law and remain at 3 percent of gross receipts from ticket sales and broadcasting rights, with a maximum of $50,000 in taxes per event for each type of sale (N.Y. Tax Law Section 452).

Gross receipts from ticket sales for kickboxing, single-discipline martial arts and mixed martial arts will be taxed at a higher, 8.5 percent rate with no cap on taxes. The sum of gross receipts from broadcasting rights and digital streaming over the internet of such newly authorized events will be subject to a 3 percent tax, with a maximum of $50,000 of tax due per event.

Beginning Sept. 1, promoters of the newly authorized combative sporting events will have to report ticket sales and pay those taxes within 10 days of the event. The taxes on broadcasts and streaming receipts generally are due at the end of the month, unless they are received during the last five days of a month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew M. Ballard in Raleigh, N.C., at aballard@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at rtuck@bna.com

For More Information

Text of the notice is at http://src.bna.com/hSK.

Text of the enacting law is at http://src.bna.com/hSS.

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