Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is being sued by the IRS for over $670,000. The IRS is looking to reclaim money issued to Steinbrenner in 2009 as a refund for 2001 tax year and audits of the Major League Baseball team’s parent company, Yankee Global Enterprises, for 2001 and 2002.
According to court filings, the suit has to do with an amended 2001 tax return filed by Hal Steinbrenner, who owns 25% of Yankees Global Enterprises, in 2009 seeking a refund because of a $6.8 million net operating loss by the baseball team’s parent company, carried back from 2002.
The suit seems to illustrate the tax advantages that a sports property can give its owners even as the value of the asset is rapidly appreciating. Our data shows the team posted operating losses every year from 2004 through 2009 even as the value of the team rose from $832 million to $1. 5 billion. Net losses (operating income less debt payments and non-cash charges such as depreciation) for the parent company were likely much greater than operating losses some years as the team was investing heavily in its regional sports channel, YES Network.