IRS Claims Hipster Owes $172 Million

Agency files huge lien against ex-Alphabet City man

Marcos Esparza Bofill

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Esparza Bofill Tax Lien

AUGUST 24--The Internal Revenue Service claims that a Spanish émigré who once lived in a New York City tenement owes it $172 million in back taxes.

The federal tax lien was filed last month against Marcos Esparza Bofill, who the IRS claims owes it nine figures in connection with his 2006 tax return. According to the lien, the former Alphabet City resident owes exactly $172,101,056.48.

Esparza Bofill, a garage music fan who came to New York to try his hand as a day trader, has since returned to Barcelona. While he declined TSG interview requests, a friend said that Esparza Bofill was puzzled by the gargantuan lien. Adam Baruchowitz, who once operated a web site with Esparza Bofill, said that his friend returned to Spain after his day trading proved unsuccessful.

Baruchowitz said that Esparza Bofill has recently spoken to him about the prospect of returning to the U.S. and working for Wearable Collections, Baruchowitz’s clothing recycling business. “He’s worried that they won’t let him in the country over this,” said Baruchowitz, himself a former day trader.

Since the IRS does not comment about individual taxpayers, it is unclear how they arrived at the $172 million figure (or whether it is a massive screw-up on the agency’s part). To owe the federal government that much, an individual would have to earn roughly $500 million in a single calendar year.

Additionally, it is unknown what kind of an effect the IRS lien might have on Esparza Bofill’s credit rating. Well, actually, that’s not true. (2 pages)

Comments (7)

the middle finger doesn't say enough.
Yeah, agree with the non-filing speculation. I'm also pretty sure this is the tip of the iceberg. That lien wouldn't have been the first notice the revenuers sent-- he probably has a box full of audit and assessment-related communications from them that aren't public. Anything he legitimately did owe has now been compounded with penalties, and sounds like he went back to Barcelona vs. dealing with it. If he doesn't have one already, he needs a tax attorney and/or CPA to whip this into manageable shape. IRS is no fun when they're angry...
What a retard.
I agree with JMike1966. He didn't file a tax return.
It's a "Notice" that's all! The IRS does this to screw with people lives, acting no different than a neighborhood thug. Hell, I could file a "notice" against this guy for twice that amount; it doesn't mean a dam thing. Credit reporting agencies and the companies that use them are getting wise to the fact that the IRS files notices as freely as healthcare and food stamps is given to illegals. If this guy had a steady mailing address he'd most likely get credit card offers in the mail next month. Bottom line is DON"T FILE THE RETURN!!! Dude Make the IRS prove their claim without your voluntary compliance!
JMike is right on. Happens all the time to my clients. IRS knows only the sales price, not the part that's profit (or likely, loss). The guy probably owes little or none of that figure. He just churned a lot of stock as a day trader.
" is unclear how they arrived at the $172 million figure..." Actually, I have a pretty good guess. He probably didn't file a tax return. They have the records of all his daytrading sales. When you don't file a tax return, the IRS assumes that each of your sales is 100% profit. So he did not have to earn $500 million, he only had to buy and sell $500 million worth of stock. This actually isn't as crazy as it sounds. $2.5 million dollars in trades per day isn't all that much for someone who might make 10 to 100 trades a day.