Former Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) director Ray Lane reportedly owes the IRS $100 million in back taxes, confirming a rumor about the former executive that has been floating around for months.
The IRS is accusing Lane of trying to use Partnership Option Portfolio Securities to reduce his taxable income. Lane used the POPS, which have been mostly rendered ineffective due to government scrutiny, to report an improper $250 million loss for the tax year 2000.
All Things D got in touch with Lane about the issue via email. In the email, Lane claims he and the IRS have agreed to some terms, though he has not yet paid the money owed. “This is a 13 year old tax item, that has never been contested by me, only the Vandium partnership. When the IRS decided it was a tax shelter and I would be liable, I immediately settled,” Lane said in the email.
Its been a tough year for the Lane thus far. At the beginning of April, Lane stepped down from his role as chairman at HP, although he has retained a spot on the company’s board, barely surviving a shareholder vote to kick him off. The company’s discontent with Lane stems from his 2011 $10 billion acquisition of British software firm Autonomy. After the purchase, Autonomy’s value was written down by $5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. HP claims that Autonomy cooked its books in order to inflate the company’s value before the purchase.
Lane also recently left the board of electric-car company Fisker after it suffered losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, the bankruptcy of its battery supplier, quality issues, and an energy loan the company was unable to repay. In addition, Lane has reduced his role as a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Lane defended himself, saying, “The amount of taxes I pay are staggering, and this is the only transaction I’ve been audited on.” HP didn’t comment, saying the issue is a personal matter that doesn’t involve the company.
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