From the basketball court to the U.S. Tax Court – it’s all in a day’s work for Los Angeles Laker, Lamar Odom.
Odom, 31, now with the L. A. Lakers, married reality show star Khloe Kardashian in 2009.
The IRS has disallowed 2007 tax deductions of $12,000 in sports fines and $178,000 allegedly spent to get in top physical shape for his basketball career. Odom is representing himself, pro se, without an attorney. He filed at the court’s Washington, D.C. office in late October
Odom disputed the $12,000 deduction the IRS disallowed for “business expenses” that represented fines that were assessed by the NBA. He also claimed $178,337 for professional training and conditioning. Odom justified this expense by stating in his defense, “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.”
Odom started his career as a player at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It ended in 1997 when a NCAA probe determined he received $5,600 from a booster. He spent one season at the University of Rhode Island, and entered the pro ranks. After three years with the Los Angeles Clippers, he received a suspension for violating NBA anti-drug policies. He also played for the Miami Heat for one year, and has been with the Lakers since 2004.
Good luck Lamar, only about 20% of the people who appeal to the tax court win the battle.