Atlanta Falcons fans will remember Bill Romanowski, a ruthless NFL linebacker who was known for his aggressive pass-rushing style and success on the field. However, his life off the field has been less successful since he left the gridiron. Romanowski has admitted that he used illegal performance enhancers during his playing days -- and now, he and his wife owe the IRS roughly $5 million in back taxes resulting from a failed business investment.

Romanowski was judged by the U.S. Tax Court to owe $4.75 million in back taxes because of a horse breeding business that fell through. The taxes trace back to a period from 1998 to 2004, when Romanowski and his wife invested more than $13 million in the company known as ClassicStar (it has since gone under). Because the company was not engaged in "for profit" ventures, the Romanowskis could not deduct the expenses from their taxes, the court ruled.

Now, this is a pretty high-profile case involving financial figures that many everyday residents do not deal with. But it does highlight the complicated nature of tax law and how anyone can become easily confused when a potential dispute arises.

Many people may not know this, but there are ways to deal with the IRS that can prove quite productive and beneficial -- even when you are not in good standing with the federal agency. Certain appeals can be made, or you could make an "offer in compromise" to the IRS to try and figure out a payment plan for your tax debt. As we mentioned in our last post, an offer in compromise is complex; so consulting an experienced tax attorney can greatly help.

Source: NBC Sports, "Bill Romanowski, wife owe nearly $5 million in back taxes," Mike Wilkening, March 8, 2013