When a concerned friend told him that the IRS had sent him a $172 million tax bill, Marcos Esparza Bofill’s first reaction was, “Who’s the IRS?”.
Bofill was a Spanish immigrant who was living in New York doing day trading. But, apparently he was not very good at it as he was barely making ends meet. Unable to sustain an “American” lifestyle, Bofill has since moved back to Spain to live with his parents.
When his friend (who had requested anonymity) told him about the tax bill notice that was sent to his old walkup apartment he thought it was a joke until his friend told him to google himself up where he was greeted by blogs and news reports about the enormous back taxes he owes.
What happened was Marcos Esparza Bofill didn’t keep very good track of his trading activities and did not bother to file anything with the IRS, especially when he was losing money. When the IRS saw over $550 million in stock gains, they apparently did not consider the losses that were likely close to that amount, if not more.