Manny Pacquiao’s attorney claims there are “serious errors” in reports that the fighter owes $18.5 million in unpaid taxes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The attorney, Steven Toscher, said that Pacquiao’s “financial advisors are handling the situation.”
“We recently became aware of stories about Manny’s personal taxes,” said Toscher, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based law firm Hochman Salkin Rettig Toscher & Perez, in an email to RingTV.com on Wednesday.
“Manny and his financial advisors are handling the situation and have no comment other than to say the disclosure of Manny’s personal tax information is wrong, the recent stories contain serious errors, and Manny is committed to working with the IRS to resolve any outstanding issues.”
Pacquiao has denied owing the $18.5 million, contending that the disclosure of his personal tax information was the work of “people out to destroy me.”
The celebrity gossip website TMZ originally posted the numbers pertaining to Pacquiao, citing “official documents” that were never posted on its site pertaining to unpaid taxes from 2006 through 2010.
Toscher said that he is working with David Marroso, a partner at the Los Angeles law firm O’Melveny & Myers, to make sure everything is “being handled appropriately.”
During an interview earlier today, Marroso declined to comment, saying only, “Manny respects the tax process and its confidentiality.”
Last month, it was reported that Pacquiao had to borrow money in order to keep his promise to support typhoon victims in the Philippines because his nation’s tax authorities had frozen his bank accounts.
In that situation, Pacquiao, coming off a victory over Brandon Rios on Nov. 23, had not proved that he has paid taxes in 2008-2009, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The bureau contended that the fighter owed $50 million in back taxes as of July, according to the Associated Press.
According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Pacquiao had not provided “certified” documents showing he had paid taxes in the U.S. for 2008-2009.
Pacquiao says he did pay U.S. taxes those years and that his promoter, Top Rank, submitted evidence of the amounts withheld from his purses and made payments directly to the U.S. taxing authorities. Pacquiao said he has asked the IRS to provide the requested “certified” documents immediately.
In March of this year, Pacquiao won a court case when a federal judge in Texas dismissed a $1 million lawsuit against the fighter, ruling that Pacquiao’s opponent in the lawsuit, Imperial ED Promotions, had committed “egregious litigation misconduct.”
Pacquiao said he hoped the decision would discourage “unscrupulous plaintiffs” seeking to “cash in” on Pacquiao, according to Marroso.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com