Rose owes IRS near $1 million in back taxes



PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) -- Pete Rose owes almost $1 million in back federal taxes, but he is making monthly payments on the debt, his representative said Friday.
The Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien in Broward County on Tuesday alleging that baseball's career hits leader owes $973,693.28 in back taxes from 1997 to 2002.
Ross Tannenbaum, president of Dreams Inc., the marketing firm that handles Rose's business affairs, said Friday that the lien is against a home Rose owns in California.
He said the filing is not an indication that the former Cincinnati Reds star and manager is in danger of returning to prison over his taxes.
Rose, 63, served a five-month sentence in 1990 and 1991 for filing false tax returns by not declaring income he received from signing autographs, memorabilia sales and gambling.
"The IRS is simply protecting its interests" in case Rose should default in the future, Tannenbaum said in an interview at his suburban Fort Lauderdale office.
Behind in payments
He said Rose's current income is not being attached by the government nor is Rose under any criminal investigation. Tannenbaum said the income tax returns Rose filed between 1997 and 2002 were accurate and complete, but he fell behind on his payments.
"This happens to [many] Americans; it's just news when it happens to Pete Rose," Tannenbaum said.
He said Rose has paid his taxes in full since 2002 and that he is up to date with payments on his prior debt.
"I know Mr. Rose makes his payments because we take them over [to the IRS] every month."
He would not say how much the payments are, nor does he believe the debt is related to gambling losses. He said Rose was traveling Friday and was unavailable for comment.
IRS revenue officer Helen Skinner, who signed the lien notice, said Friday she could not comment. She referred calls to spokeswoman Gloria Sutton, who did not return numerous calls.
Rose agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 following an investigation that he bet on games. After 14 years of denial, he admitted in his recent book, "My Prison Without Bars," that he bet on games involving the Reds while managing the team in the late 1980s.
Rose has said he hopes to be reinstated by commissioner Bud Selig, become eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot and work in the major leagues again.

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