May­weather owes $7M more in taxes

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL -

WASHINGTON — The IRS still has Floyd May­weather Jr. on the hook for $7.2 mil­lion in taxes from 2010, ac­cord­ing to records that show a lien as un­re­solved for the year he fought Shane Mosley.

That’s on top of the $22.2 mil­lion the un­de­feated boxer nick­named “Money” owes in 2015 taxes for the year he earned $ 200 mil­lion to fight Manny Pac­quiao. He brushed off the tax debt in com­ments to re­porters on Tues­day at the start of his tour to pro­mote an Aug. 26 boxing match against Ir­ish MMA star Conor McGre­gor.

May­weather’s pub­lic bravado about his wealth doesn’t match up with county records in Las Ve­gas and his own pe­ti­tion to the U.S. Tax Court in Washington.

A pe­ti­tion filed by May­weather last week ar­gues that as wealthy as he is, he doesn’t have the cash on hand to pay his debt for 2015. The IRS re­fused a di­rect re­quest by the fighter to pay in in­stall­ments un­til he is paid for the fight, and the agency said it in­tends to levy May­weather.

It’s the lat­est in a cy­cle for May­weather, who paid $15.5 mil­lion in taxes for 2001, 2003-2007 and 2009 only af­ter the IRS filed liens against him, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed with the Clark County recorder in Las Ve­gas.

May­weather’s tax at­tor­ney did not re­turn mes­sages seek­ing com­ment from The Associated Press. May­weather’s busi­ness man­ager, Leonard Ellerbe, de­clined to an­swer ques­tions about the tax debt, re­fer­ring an AP re­porter to com­ments the at­tor­ney, Jef­frey Morse, made to a May­weather-af­fil­i­ated web­site.

Morse told that May­weather can make more money by pay­ing his taxes late.

“Floyd’s a savvy in­vestor and if he is in­vest­ing money and get­ting a rate of re­turn that far ex­ceeds what he has to pay the IRS in in­ter­est, then any smart busi­ness per­son is go­ing to take ad­van­tage of that de­fer­ral,” Morse said. “So we’ve taken ad­van­tage of that.”

The tax court fil­ing, ob­tained by the AP on Wed­nes­day, said that al­though May­weather “has sub­stan­tial as­sets, those as­sets are re­stricted and pri­mar­ily illiq­uid.” It says he has a “sig­nif­i­cant liq­uid­ity event” within the next two months — his fight with McGre­gor, which could earn him a huge purse de­pend­ing on pay-per-view sales, though likely not the $200 mil­lion he got for the Pac­quiao fight.

The pe­ti­tion to tax court is an ef­fec­tive stalling tac­tic be­cause the court moves slowly and would need to send a judge to Ne­vada to hear the case, said Don Wil­liamson, a pro­fes­sor and chair of the ac­count­ing depart­ment at Amer­i­can Univer­sity’s Ko­god School of Busi­ness in Washington.

“They won’t rule un­til af­ter the fight. They don’t turn th­ese things around in 30 days,” Wil­liamson said.

How­ever, the IRS could still seek to with­hold May­weather’s purse from the fight by ar­gu­ing that he wouldn’t pay his taxes other­wise, a claim the agency would have to prove in court, Wil­liamson said.

The IRS sent Ne­vada boxing reg­u­la­tors a levy no­tice in 2009, or­der­ing that $ 5.6 mil­lion in un­paid taxes be de­ducted from May­weather’s $10 mil­lion purse as he came out of his first re­tire­ment to fight Juan Manuel Mar­quez. The tax agency backed off only af­ter May­weather agreed to pay the money.

The Ne­vada Ath­letic Com­mis­sion did not re­turn mes­sages seek­ing com­ment on Wed­nes­day.

In the tax court fil­ing, May­weather claims it would be too much trou­ble to “dis­turb” his in­vest­ments and that the IRS would not be dis­ad­van­taged by let­ting him pay in in­stall­ments.

McGre­gor used the tax is­sue to nee­dle his op­po­nent at a news con­fer­ence in Los Angeles on Tues­day.

“The rea­son he has ac­cepted this fight to come out of re­tire­ment is be­cause he has to,” McGre­gor said. “He’s in a dire sit­u­a­tion. That is not a good sit­u­a­tion to be in.”

May­weather told re­porters he “al­ready took care” of his taxes.

“I ain’t wor­ried about that,” he said.


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