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IRS Goes After Foreign Golfers

The Korea Times, Posted: Aug 22, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- As South Korean golfers sweep major golf tournaments in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service is planning to tax all foreign golfers for wearing, using and promoting a corporate sponsors product or logo at competitions, reports The Korea Times. According to the newspaper, the IRS argued that all endorsement activities by foreign golfers were taxable services because the athletes are walking billboards for their corporate sponsors. Therefore, the income earned by the non-resident
athletes from the corporate sponsorship should be subject to U.S. tax laws. If enforced, the foreign golfers would have to pay up to 35 percent of their endorsement income as tax. Currently, foreigners
report their endorsement income as royalties at lower tax rates. South Korean Y.E. Yang defeated Tiger Woods in the PGA Golf Championship which added more momentum to a recent wave of seven other South Korean female golfers who won 11 major U.S. golf tournaments.

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