Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Floyd Mayweather agrees to pay back taxes of US$5.6m

AP , LAS VEGAS

Floyd Mayweather Jr agreed to pay US$5.6 million in back taxes before the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was poised to take the money from his purse after his comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez last weekend.

The IRS sent the Nevada Athletic Commission a levy notice on Sept. 4 ordering Mayweather’s unpaid taxes from 2007 to be deducted from his US$10 million fight purse, commission executive director Keith Kizer told reporters.

Kizer said the IRS backed off one week later, after Mayweather agreed to pay the money. Mayweather won Saturday’s non-title fight by a unanimous decision.

Mayweather’s tax attorney, Jeffrey Morse, said on Tuesday that federal officials never intended to take Mayweather’s purse, and the five-division champion has satisfied all of his IRS debts.

“Floyd has — and I will absolutely attest to it — more than satisfied every tax obligation that he has,” Morse said. “As of today, as of some time ago, which I can’t tell you when, he owes zero to the IRS.”

Morse said he expected the IRS to release a US$6.17 million lien filed with the county recorder’s office in Las Vegas in October last year.

Records on Tuesday showed the lien was still open.

IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino said he could not comment on individual tax matters.

A copy of the levy notice obtained by the AP shows the IRS was seeking less than what it filed for in its lien. The notice dated Aug. 25 said Mayweather owed US$4.71 million in unpaid taxes and US$930,000 in statutory additions calculated through Sept. 25.

“Although we have given the notice and demand required by the [Internal Revenue] code, the amount owed hasn’t been paid,” the notice to boxing regulators said. “This levy requires you to turn over to us this person’s property and rights to property that you have or which you are already obligated to pay this person.”

Morse said Mayweather owed substantially less than the US$5.6 million levy, but would not say why it was valued at less than the original lien.

Morse said the levy itself was part of Mayweather’s agreement with the IRS, not an impetus for the boxer to settle the debt. Morse said the levy was used by the IRS as collateral.

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