clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC champion Jon Jones has settled nearly $1.5 million in tax liens since 2018

New, 71 comments

Details on Jon Jones’ tax problems, and his storage locker put up for auction.

Jon Jones has dealt with some considerable tax issues over the past year.

Official documents obtained by Bloody Elbow reveal that the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion was hit with multiple state and federal tax liens, dating back to December of 2018 and covering the tax years 2014-2016 (federal) and 2015-2017 (state). During that span, Jones fought only once per year, primarily due to multiple drug test failures and the 2015 hit-and-run collision that saw him stripped of his title.

The largest lien totaled approximately $1.3 million, with an additional $87,000+ assessed against Jones by the state of New Mexico. All of those liens have since been released.

For those unfamiliar with what a tax lien is, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines it as follows:

A federal tax lien is the government’s legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt. The lien protects the government’s interest in all your property, including real estate, personal property and financial assets. A federal tax lien exists after:

The IRS:

— Puts your balance due on the books (assesses your liability);

— Sends you a bill that explains how much you owe (Notice and Demand for Payment); and

You:

— Neglect or refuse to fully pay the debt in time.

Bloody Elbow’s John S. Nash has compiled a timeline of Jones’ tax liens, plus some other information on a smaller financial scale.


Federal tax liens imposed

On December 20, 2018, a Notice of Federal Tax Lien had been assessed against Jonathan D. Jones for delinquent Federal personal income taxes for the year ending 12/31/2017. The unpaid balance, which included any interest and penalties, was $104,768.70.

On January 31, 2019, a separate Notice of Federal Tax Lien was assessed against to Jonathan D. Jones for amount of $1,306,003.50. This was for a tax period covering the years 2014-2016. The unpaid balance of assessment for each year was:

2014 - $48,886.40

2015 - $762,001.80

2016 - $495,115.30

New Mexico state tax liens imposed

On April 22, 2019, a Notice of Tax Lien for New Mexico State was assessed against Jones. This was for his personal income tax filings for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017. The total balance assessed was $87,257.15 with $59,517.60 in penalty and $27,739.55 in interest.

2015 - Penalty: $28,770.60. Interest: $15,678.94. Total $44,449.54

2016 - Penalty: $24,746.85 Interest: $7,701.27 Total $32,448.12

2017 - Penalty: $6,000.15 Interest: $4,359.34 Total: $10,359.49

Tax liens released

On April 24th, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service issued a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien, certifying that Jones had satisfied the taxes listed from the December 20, 2018 Lien ($104,768.70) and all statutory additions had been released.

On May 24, 2019, the State of New Mexico, through the Taxation and Revenue Department, certified that the April 22 lien for $87,257.15 had been satisfied under statutory requirements and had been released.

On August 14, 2019, the January 31 lien (which covered the years 2014-2016 and totaled $1,306,003.50) was released.


In addition to the Federal and State liens for delinquent income tax, on December 20, 2018, the City of Albuquerque claimed and established a Lien on Jonathan Dwight Jones’ property for delinquent charges past due to the Solid Waste Management Department and the Water Utility Authority. Amount due $528.74.

Also on February 8, 2019, a public notice was given that the contents of a storage locker for Jonathan Jones or Jessie Moses was to be auctioned off following claims of delinquent rent or other related charges. The contents included a table with chairs, projection screen, china cabinet, and night stands.

It is unknown if Jones ultimately settled with the utility company or if the storage auction was actually held.


Jones currently does not have a fight scheduled — with UFC 245’s three title fights now set, it is highly likely that Jon won’t be back in the Octagon until early 2020 — but he has been in the headlines this month for a less formal payment-related reason. He was publicly accused by former coach Frank Lester of underpaying him by $13,000 for his UFC 239 title defense vs. Thiago Santos. Jones has denied ever agreeing to pay Lester $20,000.

Bloody Elbow reached out to Jones’ manager Malki Kawa for comment, but did not receive a response.

(H/T to @oldcrowMMA for the info on Jones’ tax liens)