IRS takes $388 Million bite from Davidson estate instead of $2.8 Billion


Bill davidson

The heirs and estate of billionaire Bill Davidson, former owner of the Detroit Pistons, have reached an agreement with the IRS which will take $388 million to settle estate-tax claims, instead of the $2.8 billion the Internal Revenue Service claimed it was owed.

The decision, which was filed in U.S. Tax Court on Monday, was two years in the making. That’s when Davidson’s estate took the IRS to court to dispute the amount owed.


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According to documents filed with the court, the IRS payout includes $186.6 million in gift taxes, $152.5 million in estate taxes and $48.6 million in generation-skipping taxes.

Bill Davidson was 86 when he died in 2009 with a net worth of more then $3 billion.

He was President, Chairman and CEO of Guardian Industries, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass. He was also owner of several North American professional sports teams and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

His sports empire included the Pistons, Shock, Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team and Detroit Fury arena football team.

He also was a world-renowned philanthropist who gave heavily to Jewish and Israeli causes.

Davidson’s will, signed a week before his death, had trusts drawn up for his fourth wife, Karen Davidson; a son, musician, Ethan Daniel Davidson ; and daughter, Marla Jane Davidson Karimipour.

Davidson was the first owner to purchase an airplane for his team. He was the first to finance his own arena and he was the first to encourage then-NBA Commissioner David Stern to consider taking a more global approach to marketing the league.

Karen Davidson sold the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment Inc. to Tom Gores four years ago in a deal worth $325 million.


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