PLANTATION, Fla. -- Pete Rose owes almost $1 million in federal back taxes, but he is making monthly payments on the debt, his representative said yesterday.
The Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien in Broward County Tuesday alleging that baseball's career hits leader owes $973,693.28 in back taxes from 1997 to 2002.
Ross Tannenbaum, president of
Rose, 63, served a five-month sentence in 1990 and 1991 for filing false tax returns by not declaring income he received from signing autographs, memorabilia sales, and gambling.
"The IRS is simply protecting its interests" in case Rose should default in the future, Tannenbaum said in an interview at his suburban Fort Lauderdale office.
He said Rose's current income is not being attached by the government nor is Rose under any criminal investigation.
Tannenbaum said the income tax returns Rose filed between 1997 and 2002 were accurate and complete, but he fell behind on his payments.
"This happens to [many] Americans; it's just news when it happens to Pete Rose," Tannenbaum said. He said Rose has paid his taxes in full since 2002 and that he is up to date with payments on his prior debt.
"I know Mr. Rose makes his payments because we take them over [to the IRS] every month."
He would not say how much the payments are, nor does he believe the debt is related to gambling losses. He said Rose was traveling yesterday and was unavailable for comment.
IRS revenue officer Helen Skinner, who signed the lien notice, said yesterday she could not comment.
She referred calls to spokeswoman Gloria Sutton, who did not return numerous calls.