Twins heirs dispute IRS' $207 million estate tax bill

July 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, July 21 (UPI) -- The heirs to the late Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad say the Internal Revenue Service is over the top in its appraisal of the team's value.

The Pohlad family told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the tax collectors valued the billionaire banker's share of the Twins too high, which led to a $207 million estate tax bill plus a $48 million "accuracy related penalty."

Pohlad's eldest son Jim told the newspaper the family was formally disputing the sum, and that his father's interest in the Twins at the time he handed control over to his children was more like $24 million. The IRS pegged it at $293 million.

"We believe strongly in our position and are working with the IRS to resolve the differences following their normal procedures," Jim Pohlad said.

The IRS declined to comment on the dispute; however, tax experts told the Star Tribune the agency appeared to be ahead in the count. "The burden is on the taxpayer to prove the IRS wrong," said Barry Gersick, an estate-planning attorney with the Minneapolis firm of Maslon Edelman Borman and Brand.

Another tax expert said while it did not appear the Pohlads were skirting any laws, the sheer size of the estate and the amount of money involved was very likely to draw the attention of the IRS.

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