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Bad news for those who owe, too

Tax evasion plea is latest in Yankees' list of woes

Things haven't been going so good lately for the Yankees.

Yankees_logo_2 First, there's the Red Sox. 'Nuff said.

On the heels of watching their biggest rivals win another World Series, the baseball team had to deal with the A-Rod melodrama.

Then the Mitchell Report cites two prominent NYY pitchers, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, as users of performance enhancing drugs that Major League Baseball had deemed illegal.

Pettitte admitted to limited use of human growth hormone (HGH), saying it was to treat an elbow injury. The Rocket has remained defiant in denying he ever used steroids.

And now comes word that the club's traveling secretary was caught for evading taxes.

Tripped up by tips: David Szen, admitted yesterday in United States District Court in New Haven, Conn., that he had failed to disclose $53,350 in tips from Yankees players and coaches over a five-year period. The tax due on those earnings, say prosecutors, is $10,285.

Yeah, 10 grand in unpaid taxes isn't that much in the grand scheme of things. But the PR value of nabbing a guy connected to the Bronx Bombers is invaluable.

Szen is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he could be imprisoned for up to six months and ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000. That would be on top of the taxes owed and associated penalties and interest.

And Szen's day got even worse after his court appearance.

He had been on administrative leave, according to the New York Times. But as soon as he pleaded guilty to the tax charge, the Yankees fired him.

Tax tips on tips: While tip income is usually associated with restaurant employees, many professions commonly involve gratuities.

The IRS' Tip Rate Determination/Education Program was first used within the Las Vegas gaming industry before being expanded to the food service industry.

Other individuals who typically receive tips are airport skycaps, bellhops, bartenders, hair stylists, parking attendants, delivery people and taxi drivers. All are expected to report their tip income to the IRS.

IRS Publication 3148, Tips on Tips, has details on reporting tip income.

Not alone: Szen is just the latest member of the Yankees to be caught in tax collector crosshairs.

New York state officials are trying to collect on Derek Jeter's earnings (blogged here).

Somehow, though, I suspect that even if tax officials prevail in Jeter's case, his job is safe.


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