Tag Archives: Irby

Irby Simpkins Owes $5 Million in Back Taxes

Former Nashville Banner publisher Irby Simpkins has admitted defeat in his running battle with the IRS and was ordered to pay more than $5 million in back taxes and $1.8 million in penalties by a U.S. Tax Court in November. He declined to say whether he has paid the sum, reports The City Paper.
Simpkins confirmed to The City Paper that he invested in a series of transactions on the advice of his accounting firm Price Waterhouse in the late 1990s. The IRS claimed that there were deficiencies in four different tax years, 1996-1999. In the largest of those years, 1998, Simpkins was found to have underpaid his taxes by nearly $4.7 million.
In February 1998, Simpkins and his partner Brownlee Currey took $65 million from the rival Tennessean and Gannett to make their paper, the Banner, go away. Simpkins’ final proceeds from the sale, approximately $20 million, generated a large tax liability.
Beginning in the early 2000s, Congress, the Treasury Department and the IRS began cracking down on foreign investment programs like the ones Simpkins was involved in. Price Waterhouse, now Pricewaterhouse Coopers, KPMG and several other firms would later settle over billions in unpaid taxes sheltered by schemes marketed variously as FLIP, OPIS, BOSS and Son of BOSS.
Simpkins says that after fighting the IRS for 10 years, an “old retired fella” had to move on.