- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2003

Washington Capitals star Jaromir Jagr is the subject of a tax lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service seeking nearly $3.3million in unpaid income tax.
The $3,270,209 lien covers the 2001 calendar year and was filed Friday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in Pittsburgh. Jagr played 11 seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins before he was traded to Washington in July 2001.
"I think there will be a resolution soon," said a source close to the right wing, adding: "I know there have been discussions [between the parties], which is why I was surprised [the IRS] went to court."
Repeated efforts to reach Jagr yesterday were not successful. A team source said it was a personal matter between the player the IRS and there would be no comment.
"The understanding is that this is a fairly routine procedure," said Linda Dozoretz, a spokeswoman for IMG, the agency that represents Jagr. "Jaromir and his financial advisers are aware of this situation. He has been assured that the proper steps are being taken by his financial team to resolve this matter."
Jagr made more than $10million in his last full season with the Penguins and signed a new contract after being traded to the Caps that makes him the highest-paid NHL player in history at $11million annually. The contract he signed with Washington can extend to eight years, including an option season, and has the potential to pay the wing $78million, not including bonuses.
According to the NHL Players Association, Jagr is receiving $11,483,333 this season, $11million from the Caps. The remainder of the money is deferred payments from Pittsburgh.
A tax lawyer yesterday said the lien was really a procedural matter informing all parties involved that the government had the power to seize whatever assets and/or property was necessary to satisfy the claim, and that it was prepared to do so. Liens are usually filed with courts, the lawyer said, after tax notices sent through the mail or other normal channels are ignored.
In other words, the lawyer said, the lien is the final notice that the government is coming after the money it feels it is owed. Jagr has 30 days after receiving notice of the lien to file an appeal with the IRS. That lien notice was sent to an address in Severna Park, Md.
It is the second time within a year that the IRS has gone after Jagr. It filed a claim seeking $350,000 in unpaid income tax, penalties and interest for the 1999 tax year. That lien was dropped when the balance was paid.
Jagr still owns a home in Upper St. Clair, a Pittsburgh suburb, valued at $338,400, according to Allegheny County tax records.
Jagr, who turned 31 last month, is the Caps' leading scorer with 34 goals and 69 points. He is 12th in the NHL in scoring and has won the league scoring title five times.

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