It came out recently that Floyd Mayweather owes the IRS a whopping $22.2 million, but documents show that that big number is the least of it. The famous boxer—who routinely brags about his wealth, and even goes by the nickname “Money”—has had trouble paying his taxes on time for more than a decade. The IRS has filed more than two dozen pages of tax liens (and releases from those liens) in the boxer’s name in Clark County, Nev., since 2004. At various points, according to lien documents, he has owed $3.1 million, $6.1 million, and $7.1 million to the feds. Mayweather has taken in millions in earnings and owned his own promotional company, dubbed “The Money Team,” but that hasn’t kept him from running up enormous tabs, some of which have gone unpaid, according to public records.
This matters not just because he’s a public figure, but because a huge part of Mayweather’s brand is projecting the image that he is ridiculously wealthy to the point where money is irrelevant to him. He does interviews, like this doozy with Stephen A. Smith, in front of his car collection. (At one point he says one of his cars is a “cheap” Bugatti because it’s “not the best Bugatti money can buy.”) He calls his crew, his company, and his lifestyle gear “The Money Team,” with their logo—TMT—frequently gracing his own attire in interviews and photos. The Mayweather persona is as much about being rich as it is about boxing itself.
However rich Mayweather is or isn’t, he is apparently either incapable of paying his taxes on time or unwilling to do so. Here’s what the documents show.
County records show that the lien was withdrawn on March 2, 2005.
Documents show the $409,477.79 lien was released on Jan. 4, 2008. The other portion was released on Aug. 12, 2009.
Documents show Mayweather was released from this lien on May 16, 2007.
County records show this lien was released on Dec. 12, 2007.
County records show the lien was released on Dec. 9, 2009.
This lien was released on Oct. 5, 2011.
There are no county records that included the IRS as a listed party that showed this lien being released. Mayweather’s tax lawyer, Jeffrey Morse, told the Associated Press in an email that “there is no tax obligation outstanding for the 2010 tax year” but did not provide the news service with any further details about it.
County records show the lien was released on May 16, 2012.
From there, a gap of several years exists. Then comes the last lien that is in Mayweather’s name only, as previously reported by the Associated Press.
The existence of these liens does not mean that Mayweather is broke. A person can be rich on paper—say, through the value of stocks or property owned—but still cash-poor. That said, when your nickname is “Money,” you really should be both able and willing to pay your taxes.
Mayweather’s unwillingness or inability to do so hasn’t stopped his team from trying to sell this as a positive. Tax lawyer Morse told Fight Hype a few days ago that this was really just a way to make more money.
First, Floyd always pays his taxes. Secondly, the Internal Revenue code and the Treasury regulations allow taxpayers to defer their tax liability in certain circumstances. Floyd’s a savvy investor and if he is investing money and getting a rate of return that far exceeds what he has to pay the IRS in interest, then any smart business person is going to take advantage of that deferral. So Floyd’s looking at this and saying this is a better business decision to just defer my taxes until it’s the best time for me to pay it. So we’ve taken advantage of that. We filed the petition for the whole purpose of allowing Floyd to continue to earn the money that he’s earning on his large investments and he’ll pay the tax. Again, I would stress that Floyd always pays his tax. He’s always working to be 100% tax compliant, but the rules allow us to do certain things and we utilize those rules, just like any other smart investor/tax payor.
This all could well be true; it also could be that, like Floyd’s insistence that he never hits women despite his own pleadings in court, this is a matter of hoping saying something out loud will make it true.
All of the liens and corresponding releases can be seen in full below.