When the California Franchise Tax Board released the annual list of the top 250 taxpayers with the highest state income tax liens, former Grand Prix Racing champion Steve Bren finished in the 18th spot. The son of billionaire Irvine Co. chairman Donald Bren, Steve and Cynthia Bren owe $2,209561.23 in personal income tax to the state of California and the state tax lien was filed on March 20, 2009. With California in a financial crush, the Franchise Tax Board is going after delinquent taxpayers with a renewed focus. By failing to contact a tax professional like the tax experts at the Tax Resolution Institute, Steve Bren allowed his private tax problem to become a public tax crisis. Now Steve Brin needs real tax relief.
STEVE BREN — NO STRANGER TO CRISIS
Then again, Steve Bren is no stranger to crisis, and he has put his family through their fair share of scandal in the recent past. Although Bren’s Irvine-based Bacchus Development firm billed itself as “one of the premier commercial real estate firms in Orange County, they were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September. In addition, bad boy Steve Brin was facing drug possession, domestic violence and trespassing charges in Malibu. Since he is turning 50 next year, Steve Brin has gone from being a bad boy to being the black mark that stains the legacy of his family name.
AN AVENUE TO SUCCESS AND TAX PROBLEMS
Steve Bren felt abandoned by his successful father as a boy, and he once told an interviewer, “We were brought up without anything — anything.” He found his own success on the car racing circuit, becoming a two-time Long Beach Grand Prix winner. Although he qualified for the Indianapolis 500, he could never find a car for a qualifying run, and the billionaire father would not support the car-racing hobby of his son. Although he briefly worked for his father, Steve Bren found his own avenue to success when he opened the Newport Auto Center luxury car dealership in 1987.
LEGAL PROBLEMS AND BUSINESS SUCCESS
The legal troubles of Steve Bren developed side-by-side with his newfound business success. He was caught with eight street-illegal Porsche Speedsters on the dealership back lot and was tagged for violating environmental laws. Eventually, the lot was sold to a company owned by billionaire Wayne Huizenga in 1994.
SYMPATHY BUT NO HELP FROM BILLIONAIRE FATHER
After the recent bankruptcy of Bacchus, Donald Bren announced in a statement issued by the Irvine Co: “I sympathize with Steve… like many fellow Americans, overwhelmed by these extremely challenging financial circumstances…. I wish Steve nothing but the best as he works though this very difficult period.” The father remained silent in terms of the recent criminal charges. The Malibu court sentenced Steve Brin to both domestic violence counseling and drug counseling. If he finishes those counseling programs successfully, the charges will be dropped.
PROBLEMS WITH THE CALIFORNIA FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
The same result cannot be said to be a possibility when it comes to the Franchise Tax Board. As California’s 18th most delinquent taxpayer, Steve Bren will have to find a way to cover his tax bill in order to have the state tax lien lifted. Without the removal of the lien, his financial future and business life remain in permanent limbo.
THE POSSIBLE HELP OF THE TAX RESOLUTION INSTITUTE
By relying on the tax experience and the tax expertise of a company like the Tax Resolution Institute, Steve Bren could find actual tax relief and a solution to his tax problems. Since his billionaire father clearly is not swooping in for the rescue, Steve Brin will have to reach out for professional tax help.
About Peter Y. Stephan
Peter Y. Stephan, executive director of the Tax Resolution Institute, has been helping people resolve large, complex payroll tax problems and personal income tax problems for over 25 years. Peter has written a book "The Ultimate Tax Resolution Guide" and speaks on Tax Resolution topics frequently.