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A Taxing Situation
by Nathan Orme
Dec 15, 2011 | 10623 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Sparks resident Doug Brozyna shows the IRS assessment he received for $133,324,006.60 as taxes owed on a reported $215 million jackpot won at the Sands Regency Hotel Casino in 2006. The IRS has determined the reported win was false.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Sparks resident Doug Brozyna shows the IRS assessment he received for $133,324,006.60 as taxes owed on a reported $215 million jackpot won at the Sands Regency Hotel Casino in 2006. The IRS has determined the reported win was false.
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RENO — What would you do with $215 million?

That is what Sparks resident Doug Brozyna has been asking himself ever since receiving a notice from the IRS informing him that he owes $133 million in taxes on that amount, supposedly from a jackpot he won at the Sands Regency Hotel Casino in 2006.

The problem is Brozyna never won anything close to that amount. Fortunately for the out-of-work roofing estimator, that fact was never in dispute when he met with IRS agents on Tuesday morning.

“We have enough evidence to show it’s false,” revenue officer Phil Mandichak told Brozyna during the meeting at the IRS office in downtown Reno.

“I’m not going to disagree with you,” Brozyna replied.

A letter from administrators at the Sands confirmed that Brozyna did win two $1,200 prizes at the casino in 2006, but nothing near the $215,001,660 that was reported to the federal government on a 1099-G form filed June 15, 2007 — long after the year-end filing deadline for the 2006 tax year, Mandichak said.

So how did this happen?

That is a mystery to both Brozyna and the IRS. Mandichak said the form was mailed in and the information entered in the computer, but no one has the original envelope to look for a return address. No other information is available to identify the person who filled out the form reporting Brozyna’s supposed winnings. Mandichak said at first the IRS staff thought there might be an input error from Brozyna’s smaller winnings, but he could not find a combination of numbers that could lead to such a mistake.

How else could it happen? With the right information — name, address, Social Security number — a person with malevolent intent could get the form from the Internet, fill it out and send it in with phony winnings reported.

Who would do this?

“Ex-wives,” Mandichak said with a chuckle, adding that such things do happen.

“I’d like to figure out who did this and why,” Brozyna said. “It was obviously intentional.”

While the enormous tax bill issue seems to be resolved, Brozyna still must deal with some other issues — namely not having filed any tax returns since 1992.

“We don’t create our own problems,” Mandichak said during the meeting. “Well, we do create our own problems sometimes, but not in this case.”
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