SBD/July 22, 2013/Franchises

Pohlad Family Involved In IRS Dispute Over Valuation Of Twins; Agency Wants $256M

Pohlad's family asserts the IRS overvalued his interest in the Twins
Late Twins Owner Carl Pohlad's estate is "mired in a tax dispute with the IRS that has potentially huge financial consequences" years after his death, according to David Phelps of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The agency claims that Pohlad's heirs, who own the Twins, "owe the IRS more than $207 million, largely on the basis of a purportedly low valuation the estate placed on the late patriarch’s most visible asset," the team. The IRS also "wants $48 million as an 'accuracy related penalty' for a total potential tax bill" of $255.8M. The family "disputes the IRS position and asserts that the federal agency greatly overvalued Carl Pohlad’s interest in the Twins after he handed most of the control of the ballclub" to his three sons. But tax attorneys not connected to the case said that the Pohlads will "be on the defensive in this dispute." Attorney Barry Gersick said, "The burden is on the taxpayer to prove the IRS wrong." The dispute "surfaced last month in U.S. Tax Court." The Pohlad estate has "requested a Tax Court trial in Houston, home of the law firm handling its tax case, Baker Botts." However, Baker Botts attorney John Porter said that "further negotiations toward a settlement are expected well before any trial date is set" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/21).

A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING? In Minneapolis, Lee Schafer wrote under the header, "Pohlads' Dispute With IRS Over Team's Value Was Just Estate Planning." The "only thing really remarkable" with the Pohlads' dispute is the "sheer size involved, as the IRS is looking for $121 million in additional estate taxes just related to Carl Pohlad’s ownership" of the Twins (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/21).
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