Is Phil Mickelson planning to dodge the taxman by moving to Canada?
Mickelson says he's done the math when it comes to his taxes and it doesn't add up
Published on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 10:29AM EST Last updated on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 08:34AM EST
Is Phil Mickelson considering a move to Canada to escape the tax situation in his native California? Well, not likely but Mickelson did say he was going to make some “drastic changes” to his situation after what he called “an interesting offseason”.
“I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes,” Mickelson told reporters shortly after the final round of the Humana Challenge where he finished in a tie for 37th.
Pressed on whether he plans to leave California, move to Canada or even give up golf altogether, Mickelson said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do.
“There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now.”
That “zone” Mickelson is talking about is the 62 to 63 percent tax rate he will get hit with at both the federal and state levels after California voters approved Proposition 30 in the last election which will increase taxes statewide for the first time since 2004.
According to Forbes magazine, Mickelson earned $47.8-million through June of last year. They did the math and it’s enough to keep Lefty up late at night thinking about more than just that missed five footer or that wayward drive.
Mickelson added it was all the tax implications that factored into his decision not to become a part owner in his hometown San Diego Padres. Asked if there was a correlation between the tax increases and what happened to the Padres' deal, Mickelson replied, “Absolutely”.
Forbes does have one piece of saavy advice for Mickelson - hire a tax advisor, which shouldn’t be too hard... “one of the sponsors that paid Phil an estimated $44 million in 2012 was KPMG.”
As for Mickelson coming to Canada to dodge the taxman, a long shot as there are states in the U.S. (Florida and Texas come to mind) where he could call home and keep most of his money.
UPDATE: Mickelson issued a statement on Tuesday to address the comments he made at the Humana Challenge
"I absolutely love what I do. I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it. I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships.
"Right now, I’m like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I’ve been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don’t have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.
"Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."
SUNDAY, BLOODY, SUNDAY: Speaking of money, Brad Fritsch has pocketed $37,800 through two events of his PGA Tour rookie campaign. That’s more than he made in 12 events on the former Canadian Tour in 2011.
Fritsch also had an exciting final day at the Humana Challenge on Sunday:
NO MORE MR NICE GUY: Great interview by the Los Angeles Times with shock rocker Alice Cooper who,as it turns out, is almost a scratch golfer.
Cooper, best known for incorporating horror elements into his shows including guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood and boa constrictors, took part in this past weekend’s Humana Challenge pro-am.
Cooper tells Lance Pugmire that his love affair with golf began out of necessity (“When I quit drinking, which was a necessity, I had to find an addiction that was not going to kill me.”) so he picked up a seven iron one day and drove it right down the middle of the fairway with a swing and a stroke that prompted a teaching pro in Phoenix who was watching him to exclaim 'You're a natural.'
Cooper also relays this story about how his golfing ability got him invited to Friars Club.
“I'm at Steve Allen's house, long hair, black leather, drinking then. There's Dean Martin there, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, every major comedian you can think of in tuxedos. And they looked at me as one of the guys. I'm told, 'Alice, Bob Hope wants to meet you.' He's standing there with President Gerald Ford, President Bush, five or six other guys that should never be in the same room with me. I walk up and Bob says, 'Alice, I seem to be pushing the ball to the right.' I say, 'You know what you've got to do, Bob, is relax your right hand, take it inside out.' And I realize, I'm talking to two presidents and Bob Hope about how to hit a golf ball down the middle. I realized right then that golf cuts through everything. It doesn't matter if you're the president of the United States, a gardener or a garbage man, when it comes to golf, if you can help a guy hit the ball straight, all bets are off about who you are or what you do. I would've loved to have that scene filmed."
As for the pro-am, Cooper finished at 20-under par and behind fellow musician Michael Bolton (-33), ex-NFL running back Eric Dickerson (-28), ex-baseball player Ozzie Smith (-25) and TV host Carson Daly (-23)
ANCHORS AWAY: A study by Golf Datatech - which bills itself as the golf industry’s leading independent research firm for consumer, trade and retail golf trends - asked “serious golfers” about their reaction to the USGA’s proposal to ban the anchored stroke. A majority of those surveyed said their game will not be impacted by the rule, while a small percentage who use a long putter said they will continue to play regardless of the ruling.
Some other key findings of the survey, 55-percent believe anchoring the putter does not make it easier to putt; 60-percent of respondents believe that the governing bodies of golf should ban the anchoring of clubs to the body while 62-percent do not believe the anchoring ban will cause some amateur golfers to enjoy the game less.
Golf Datatech surveyed 1,766 randomly selected golfers who play an average of 68 rounds per year with an average handicap of 14.3.
Meanwhile, Wally Uihlein, the CEO of Acushnet - makers of Titleist and FootJoy equipment - puts forth his view on the debate over whether or not there should be two sets of golf rules - one for professionals and one for the everyday golfer.
LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: Earlier this month, the Golf Premier League was unveiled - India’s attempt to raise the profile of the sport via a franchisee-based league which has proven successful with cricket, badminton, wrestling and field hockey.
Over the weekend, an auction was held for players by the eight city-based franchises that will take part in the league and former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell turned out to be the the hottest property, commanding a top price of $61,000 by the Shubhkamna Eagles. That was more than two-time major winner Angel Cabrera and Darren Clarke fetched - both went for $55,000.
Scheduled to play in early February, the league, with total prize money of $400,000, will feature two day-night rounds of stroke play, followed by a final round of the best-ball format.
Touted in India as golf's answer to Twenty20 cricket, each round will be played over 14 holes instead of the regular 18.
“I’m against it, but whatever they say the rule will be or might be, I’ll go with it. I’m a golfer. I’m not making the rules. I want to honour the game, wherever it takes us.” — Ernie Els on the proposed rule to ban anchored strokes.
Files from Reuters were used in this report