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Report: Lakers forward Lamar Odom suing Internal Revenue Service over dispute on tax deductions

November 9, 2010 | 12:44 pm

Lakers forward Lamar Odom has filed suit in U.S. tax court over an Internal Revenue Service bill for $87,000 because of a dispute in his taxes in 2007 that involve deductions for NBA fines and training expenses, according to a report on

The IRS found issue with Odom's attempt to deduct $178,337 he spent on training expenses and the $12,000 he accumulated in league fines. The Forbes report quotes the IRS writing to Odom on the bill, “'We have disallowed some of the expenses you claimed as business expenses because it was determined they were personal expenses and not deductible.'”

According to federal law, tax deductions aren't allowed for financial sanctions.But Odom's contention, which was filed on Oct. 25, argues the Lakers and NBA fines don't indicate a violation of government law. Although the nature of Odom's fines weren't specified in the report, NBA fines go to various charities, including NBA Cares.

The report quotes Odom as writing in a personally signed pleading, "These fines are commonly assessed on professional athletes and are work related. Therefore the fines incurred are ordinary and necessary employee business expense." Regarding the disagreement involving his expenses with professional training, the report states Odom also justified the deduction as a business expense in the pleading. The report quotes Odom as writing in the pleading, "The taxpayer’s employment contract requires that the taxpayer be in sufficient physical condition that allows him to perform as a professional basketball player throughout the basketball season.”

--Mark Medina