The Internal Revenue Service has won a settlement of $388 million from the estate of Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson. According to the IRS, the estate owned more than $2 billion in additional taxes. To gain some perspective: in 2013, the US Treasury took in a total of $12.7 billion in estate tax revenue. Davidson, who made his fortune in glass and auto products, was best known to the public as the team owner of the Pistons, the W.N.B.A.'s Detroit Shock and the N.H.L. Tampa Bay Lightning.
In an article that appeared in Forbes, "IRS Grabs $388 Million From Billionaire Davidson Estate," the case against Davidson's estate is explained in detail. Two years ago, Davidson's estate filed a matter with the U.S. tax court that challenged the agency's assessment of additional taxes. They claimed that the estate owed $187 million in gift taxes, $152 million in estate taxes, and $49 million in generation-skipping taxes, plus a $133,000 gift tax penalty bill.
Two problems factored into to these deficiencies. The IRS claims that the Davidson estate undervalued some corporate stock and improperly valued the self-cancelling installment notes (SCINs). The IRS said that the estate also underestimated the value of privately held stock held in trust for Davidson's children and grandchildren.