The NBA Finals and the 'Jock Tax'?

The so-called 'jock tax' means that the NBA Finals, and other sporting events, are connected to taxes in an interesting way.

basketball and hoop for jock tax nba finals
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The NBA finals 2024 are over and many who tuned in to see the Boston Celtics defeat the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 are probably not wondering what a jock tax is. But the NBA Finals — and other sporting events — are connected to taxes in a big way. That’s partly due to a lucrative income tax, imposed by most states, known as the “jock tax.” 

And professional athletes aren’t the only ones affected by the tax. Individuals who travel to work with sports teams, and earn income in different states, pay, too.

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Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.