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Behind unusual boxing match: significant tax debt

Boxing fans may have heard that next month, champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is set for a much anticipated bout with Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor. The match-up is unique for several reasons. First of all, the bout has been in the pipes for a long time, going back to McGregor’s public insults toward Mayweather as McGregor rose through the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Second of all, Mayweather is essentially coming out of retirement to engage with McGregor, who has never boxed professionally. Third, the motivation for the match is very likely that Mayweather needs the money he will gain from it in order to satisfy over $22 million in unpaid tax debt

According to the IRS, Mayweather owes a total of $22.2 million on income from 2015, which was the year he retired. Not long before his retirement, Mayweather earned $200 million in income for a fight against Manny Pacquiao, which was a highly publicized match. The IRS filed the tax lien against Mayweather back in April, and he has since filed an appeal seeking temporary relief with the U.S Tax Court and a reduction in tax penalties.

The aim is to convince the IRS to halt collections until he gains his earnings from the McGregor fight. Mayweather is expected to earn millions from the fight, which he will then presumably put toward his tax debt. It isn’t clear yet whether the IRS will grant Mayweather’s petition, but he will certainly have less to worry about in terms of his tax obligations if the petition is granted.

The IRS appeals process can be an important avenue for taxpayers to challenge an improper or unfair IRS determination regarding tax debt. In a future post, we’ll look a bit at this process and the importance of working with an experienced attorney to protect one’s rights. 

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