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IRS Strikes Out Darryl Strawberry For Outstanding Tax Debt

IRS to auction Darryl Strawberry’s deferred Mets salary. A minimum bid of $550,000 has been set for the January 20, 2014 auction which will offer a deferred compensation agreement that was part of Strawberry’s 1985-90 contract with the Mets.

Darryl Strawberry, the former MLB All-Star, New York Mets and Yankees star who has faced tax problems owes over $550,000 when totaling California state and IRS back taxes. Strawberry was well known as a home-run hitter with a large presence in the batters box.

Darryl is well known for leading the Mets to a World Series win in 1986 and the Yankees to championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999. But when it came to the IRS – it was three strikes and he’s out!

In 1995, The New York Times reported that Strawberry owed over $100,000 in back income taxes (for underreported income of $411,250 between 1986 and 1990), and just recently The Detroit News reported that he owes over $550,000 in back taxes. The breakdown according to The Detroit News is as follows: He owes over $259,000 to the State of California (as a tax lien was filed in April), over $250,000 to the IRS (IRS tax lien filed in December 2008).

In November 2004, after being served with an IRS levy, the New York Mets began sending the IRS almost all of the $8,892 in monthly deferred compensation Strawberry is owed under the Uniform Player’s Contract, to cover both his back taxes and current income tax withholding.

But this was still not enough for the IRS – you see one way or the other, the IRS seems likely to get all its money.

The Internal Revenue Service is now auctioning the deferred compensation agreement that was part of Darryl Strawberry’s 1985-90 contract with the New York Mets to satisfy taxes owed by the former All-Star outfielder to satisfy IRS tax liens for 1989, 1990, 2003 and 2004.

The IRS said the agreement is worth about $1,279,000. The minimum bid is $550,000 in the auction which is scheduled for January 20, 2014 at the IRS office in Fairview Heights, Illinois. But if you are looking to bid, include a payment of 20% of the minimum and be prepared to pay the remainder within 60 days of the bid’s acceptance.

When Would The IRS Or State Tax Agency File A Tax Lien?

The IRS or a State Tax Agency will file a lien when the agency feels there is a chance that collection is in peril. It does not just grab your assets. Filing of a tax lien is normally dictated by the dollar amount. For IRS under the IRS’s Fresh Start program, the lien threshold was increased from $5,000 to $10,000.

The Notice of Federal or State Tax Lien is filed in the public records office of each county where you own property and thus attaches to any property you own. If you sell the property, proceeds will be used to satisfy the lien. Any person or company pulling a credit report on you will see the tax lien. This will damage your borrowing ability, making it difficult to refinance your home, get an auto loan, credit card, or business loan. Also, if you are looking to refinance your loan, the lien would have to be satisfied at closing in order for the lender in the new loan to retain a senior creditor’s position.

Alternatively, a new lender should be willing to make the new loan where the IRS and State Tax Agency agrees to subordinate its lien. A taxpayer can request that the IRS and State Tax Agency subordinate their liens to the new lender. In the process, even though the tax lien would be older than the new loan, the IRS and State Tax Agency agree to stand behind the new lender should the loan be defaulted and the new lender now seeks to foreclose on the property.

Federal Tax Liens Do Not Necessarily Have To Remain In Place While You Are Under A Payment Plan.

It is true that certain taxpayers who enter into payment plans with the IRS can get tax liens withdrawn even before the liability is paid in full. You must enter into a Direct Debit installment agreement and also meet the following to request that the Federal Tax Lien be withdrawn:

1. The current amount you owe must be $50,000 or less;

2. If you owe more than $50,000, you may pay down the balance to $50,000 prior to requesting the lien withdrawal to be eligible;

3. Your Direct Debit Installment Agreement must full pay the amount you owe within 60 months or before the Collection Statute expires, whichever is earlier;

4. You must be in full compliance with other filing and payment requirements;

5. You must have made three consecutive direct debit payments;

6. You cannot have previously received a lien withdrawal for the same taxes unless the withdrawal was for an improper filing of the lien; and

7. You cannot have defaulted on your current, or any previous, direct debit installment agreement.

An existing installment agreement not structured as a Direct Debit Installment Agreement can be converted so that you can now qualify for this relief for lien withdrawal. Bear in mind that if you default on your Direct Debit Installment Agreement after the lien is withdrawn, a new notice of lien may be filed and collection efforts may resume.

Don’t Take The Chance And Lose Everything You Have Worked For!

Protect yourself. If you are in danger of wage garnishments or bank levies or having a tax lien placed against your property, stand up to the IRS and your State Tax Agency by getting representation. Tax problems are usually a serious matter and must be handled appropriately so it’s important to that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your particular situation.

Original Post By:  Jeffrey Kahn