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

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

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This is not relevant news, MM.



I hate to follow up DBDH's rather rude comment, but I was going to say;

This is the least interesting headline ever.

MM - ok I guess I'll do it - WTH??????

Can Lamar deduct the cost of Skittles as a business expense?

DBDH - Not sure how this isn't news to be honest.

I'm on Lamar's side.
For a PROFESSSIONAL athlete training expenses are business expenses. Period.
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

Boy, this kinda brings new meaning to the whole "Get out of my way Saturn" call to arms, doesn't it? Good luck with that LO!

From a Lakers fan perspective, this could put pressure on IRS. It's honestly ridiculous to think that his training expenses aren't work related

justa - i'm confused?

Lamar paid the taxes and is now making a claim or "suing" for a refund. Actually, I will be interested in learning the outcome of this case as it may make new law should it not be settled. Candidly, I find this MUCH more interesting than "Five things to watch in Lakers-Minnesota matchup." Let's just hope that .. like in every game .. we come out of tonight's scrimmage HEALTHY.

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

i guess it's irrelevant that NOT ONE PENNY of the money that the IRS collects goes to the operation of the government(it's illegal, read the constitution. the federal government receives 100% of it's operating budget from taxes and tarriffs on international and interstate trade), that it's NOT an arm of government(though law enforcement seems to pretend that it is) and that it's the collection agency for the NON-governmental Federal Reserve Bank, which loans the government money that the government could print for free at interest, even though the Fed creates the money to loan from nothing.

Can Lamar deduct the cost of Skittles as a business expense? Posted by: Allnet | November 09, 2010 at 01:21 PM
Good One!! LOL!

revenue agency is, it's messed up...

In my union we could deduct safety shoes, our tools, classes for upgrade, education within the field.....

Artest should get to claim his psych expenses, look at how it helped him at his profession.

A home gym is borderline is it for rehab, training? , an insurance guy can claim a room in his house as an office, big deduction....

I think my blog time should be a deduction....

Sometimes when I'm reading cyber's posts it feels like reduction

I like our chances tonight...I'll root for Lamar in his off court quest, but they are hard to beat luck LO

This is relevant to be sure. His training expenses is what I wish my annual salary was. Hey, maybe I'll offer to train him for half the price.

Ultimately, the real question is: can I deduct the amount of time I spend on the blog for personal growth expenses? Actually, this is an educational expense. With the amount of knowledge being shared on this blog I will soon become LakerJ, Ph.D.

Regarding I Bleed Purple and Gold's worries on not having AB v Boston in a 7 game series

Two critical factors there :

1) The refs. If they allow Boston's back alley brawl tactics to fly, with no AB, yes the Lakers are in trouble. It's just what happened in '08. Turn 10% of the non-calls into whistles for the Lakers and that series has an entirely different perspective.

2) At least one of either Snaq or JO will be non-factors come playoff time due to injury and age. Possibly both. I honestly don't expect much from Perkins this year either. He tore an ACL in June. That means he realistically needs 8-10 months recovery time which puts him POSSIBLY coming back around February, April more likely. And the history of Bigs with knee problems coming back quickly don't bode well for him either. I see him possibly suiting up for a few games but the wear and tear on his near 300 lbs will force him to shut it down prior to the playoffs.

Still I'd rather see an AB capable of defending the paint while Pau, rather the LO, guards a seemingly revitalized KG.

Man, Lamar can't even have a tax issue without it being put all out in the public. That sucks. It's crazy because I don't really remember anyone else's tax issues put out there. Politicians? Sure. Basketball players? I don't know about that.

Go Lakers!

If the dispute is over only a total of about 190K of tax disallowed deductions then even at the highest fed tax bracket we're talkin about 66.5K here in total taxes.. Lamar makes more than this in an hours work.. His legal fees and all the time and effort will probably cost more than what he's suing over... This is so lame

We're talking about a $80K tax bill for a player making millions? How is this Laker news?

Can Sasha deduct the cost of the haircut Phil ordered him to get last year?

With the amount that LO consumes, he should at least get them at cost!

I feel that this thred is relevant- now I have another reason to love LO!

If the IRS wants to make a fuss maybe they can audit lukes returns.. Now there's a man making millions and probably not entitled to any deductions considering he's probably not "gainfully employed" by any IRS definition... I wouldn't call playing 20 games a year for 5 minutes a game exactly gainfully employed.. Maybe gainful to himself but definitely not his employer. Haha

On November 16th after 2PM, Jack in the Box will be giving away 2 free tacos to anyone.

I didn't even know we had an early game that day.


No offense, but I think knowing that LO's trying to "write off" more than many of us MAKE in a year is a bit depressing, even for a die hard Lakers fan like me. As of today, you have a 99.9% approval rate in the DBDH household.


Rude? Maybe. Honest? Yes. I'm sorry if you were offended, sir. You are one of the coolest people on here, and that last thing I want to do is create drama.

@everyone else,

See last line directed at phred.


Next post, please!

Title Heaven in 2011, baby!


@ mud,

Agreed! A fiat currency (money backed by nothing) is destined to fail. Claim 9 on your paystubs and stop feeding the FED. Peace out!


LO - this one is dedicated to you from the Taxman!

DBDH- I don't know, I think writing FAIL! in big letters could be seen as rude, but I'm probably just ignorant to modern internetty type communication. I definitely doubt either of our statements was meant personally.

I will say you guys have some interesting positions on the Federal Reserve Bank.

sasha should get a deduction, and his money back for that haircut

andrew could come on and be the best big man in the league....even if phil only gives him 24 yow! minutes a game

maybe sasha needs his hair

could the second group be called, "The B Team"?


You were duped by the crazy tax people, Larouche types. The Constitution gives Congress the right to make laws. They made an income tax law. Simple. Wesley Snipes fought the law and got his butt handed to him. Even if ratification was iffy of the law by state legislatures, I'm not sure they have to ratify because it's not a change to the Constitution.

Some people just don't want to pay taxes and find intellectually lazy ways to justify it poorly.

As for Lamar, it sounds like a pretty reasonable fight to me. The IRS can get greedy and it sounds like they're being a bit greedy with revenues falling. It's not unlike the police departments issuing more tickets to help their own budgets or those of their municipalities. It's wrong and should be illegal and in the case of Lamar, he has recourse.

Maybe boring to most, but it is news. How else is MM going to do 4 blog posts a day unless he can post stuff like this.

As for it being a lot of money he's deducting...

Are you guys here just figuring out that athletes make exorbitant amounts of money? I think you'd have it figured out by now.

@ phred,



no Benjamin.
Congress can't just make any law they please. please read the Constitution again. only the individual States have the right to tax income if they wish. also, you have skirted the issue over whether or not the IRS is a governmental agency or not(it isn't) and whether or not that money goes to the government(it doesn't, check the IRS's own info CAREFULLY).

i don't mind paying my fair share of taxes.

Benjamin, I agree on every point. As a recovering tax attorney, MM, this was hugely interesting to me. Thanks for posting it!

The IRS's justifications for its positions border on the ridiculous sometimes, and this is definitely one of those times . . . Here's hoping it doesn't detract from LO's new and improved focus/efficiency/consistent amazingness on the court!

mud, Benjamin's post was a bit broad - it might have helped if he specifically quoted Article 1, section 8, which says "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes . . ." Unfortunately for those of us who would *love* to see the federal income tax eliminated, the Constitution was given some additional clarification back in 1913 (see Amend. XVI - "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."). Moreover, still in the "unfortunate" category, the Supreme Court has stated that Amendment XVI pretty much means what it says . . . so . . . I hope that helps.

@Ben. This link is for you and anyone else that think federal income tax is legal. I pay it, but it's wrong. Thank you Mud for reminding us all of that.
"Freedom to Fascism." If you havent seen it, watch it.

This just in from AP: "NASCAR FINES KYLE BUSCH $25,000 FOR GESTURE. Busch was penalized for speeding at Texas and called into the pits to serve a one-lap penalty. While sitting in his car, he held up his middle finger toward the NASCAR official standing in front of his Toyota."

So if Lamar can deduct the fines for arguing with an official, can Busch deduct the fine for flipping one off?

as a staunch supporter of "end the fed" and the abolishment of the i.r.s., i say: kick their "arse" lamar and the rest of nba too!


actually, socalbarrister-
that is not quite accurate. there is quite a bit of evidence that Amendment XVI was never PROPERLY ratified. Supreme Court rulings, while having the effect of lawfullness and law are often incorrect or even immoral, for example, the Supreme Court once ruled that it was ok to enslave those who couldn't fight back.

all that be as it may, the IRS is STILL NOT THE GOVERNMENT, and the money that it collects does NOT go to the government, ACCORDING TO THE IRS.

all that said, i file and pay my taxes, since law enforcement considers the IRS to be the government.

F*^%$* IRS...

I hate them with a passion...they made my life miserable for the last 2 years...

Kick the asses Lamar...

Good luck with that LO....LOL

I would sue if you don't make the all star ballot if I were you!!!

The fines appear to have been completely disallowed, whereas it is not clear from the story whether the training expenses were disallowed in whole or in part. If the training fees were only partially disallowed, that implies a certain degree of equivocation on IRS' part. Perhaps it indicates that, while the IRS is dubious as to the amount claimed by Lamar, it is not as doubtful as to the legal argument in favor of deducting training fees as a business expense. What if for tax years prior to 2007 Lamar had deducted similar amounts for training and these had not been disallowed by the IRS? This does not bar the IRS from challenging the 2007 training expenses, but it raises a question as to whether the law has been consistently applied, an issue central to the fair administration of the internal revenue system.

He needs to contest the charge..he needs every cent he has...that Kardahsian b%#*! is going to cream him for every dime he has. Won't be surprised if he will be broke ina few years.

He needs to contest the charge..he needs every cent he has...that Kardahsian b%#*! is going to cream him for every dime he has. Won't be surprised if he will be broke ina few years.

Posted by: denays | November 14, 2010 at 07:28 AM

I guess it's never too early in the morning to have a little bit of sexism, eh? Brilliant.



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