The Internal Revenue Service has filed suit in U.S. Tax Court against three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves after he won a high-profile victory against the IRS two years ago and paid $5 million in taxes.
Castroneves was acquitted in 2009 of six counts of tax evasion after the IRS claimed he owed back taxes on earnings between 1999 and 2004 (see Racecar Driver Castroneves Acquitted of Tax Charges). He and his sister and attorney were accused of setting up a Panamanian shell company to hide his earnings. The final charge against him was dismissed just two days before he went on to win the Indianapolis 500 for the third time (see Last Charge Dismissed for Indy 500 Champ Castroneves). The racing champ has also competed and won on "Dancing with the Stars."
After the trial, Castroneves gave the IRS a $5 million check to pay taxes on about $15 million in previously deferred licensing income from the Penske Racing team.
However, the IRS now claims that Castroneves owes an additional $3.6 million in taxes and $2.7 million in fraud penalties on the same income that was in dispute in the earlier case, according to the Miami Herald. By trying the case in civil court, the burden of proof will be lighter for the IRS.
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