While that might not seem like a lot in the scheme of things, there are many high-profile athletes who have been known to arrange their schedules surrounding major events based on taxes.
Since each athlete's travel situation is different and each endorsement is structured differently, how much a particular athlete owes is always up to interpretation.
In 2002 and 2003, for example, Retief Goosen, a South African who lives in the United Kingdom and plays most of his golf in the United States, only sourced 7 percent of his roughly $1 million per year in endorsements to be subject to US taxes. The IRS believed that they were owed much more, especially for Goosen's sponsors like Electronic Arts and Upper Deck, which sold most their products in the United States. Last week, a US tax court said Goosen, who wasn't delinquent on any taxes at any point, might owe more to the US government.
The argument against McIlroy caring about the tax situation is the fact that he might be worth more in the United States playing against better talent than he is playing in Europe. That's debatable for his main sponsor Jumeirah, who might want him playing in Europe to promote their resorts in London and Dubai.
Then there's the money. There's more potential cash in the United States. The average PGA Tour tournament offers roughly $2 million more in purse money as compared to the European Tour.
With Tiger Woods' future up in the air, the PGA Tour has to score McIlroy next year, and don't think Rory's people aren't running the numbers.
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