SAN FRANCISCO, June 6 Hewlett-Packard
board member and Kleiner Perkins partner emeritus Ray Lane said
he has agreed to settle an outstanding tax bill with the U.S.
Internal Revenue Service dating back to 2004 of as much as $100
The IRS found that Lane, who gave up his chairmanship of HP
in April after coming under investor pressure for his role in
the acquisition of Autonomy Plc, participated in a "sham" tax
shelter and generated losses of $251 million to offset income,
Bloomberg reported, citing appeal papers filed May 6 with the
U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C.
Lane told Reuters the issue stemmed from a fund in 2000 that
his tax advisers "put him into," which in turn invested in
startups during the first dotcom boom.
"It became obvious in 2004 that the IRS looked at it as a
tax shelter. And nothing has happened until 2013," Lane said in
an interview, adding that the IRS simply said it was auditing
Lane's 2000 returns and asked him to sign extensions on a
statute of limitations every 18 months.
"They were reviewing, and I was reviewing, the upfront
payment that was made which they considered to be fees, which we
had claimed had been warrants in these companies," he explained.
"One would be taxed as ordinary income, and one would be taxed
as capital gains."
Lane said he recently signed a settlement letter with the
IRS regarding the taxes owed but has yet to pay his outstanding
"I have never disagreed with it," he said. "I have waited
for the IRS. They just simply kept extending it."
Lane has had a rough year. Following his resignation as
chairman of HP, Lane also stepped down from the board of
troubled automaker Fisker Automotive, which he had backed while
Lane joined storied venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins in
2000 after eight years at Oracle Corp, where he helped
take the software company to $10 billion in revenue from $1
billion. Although his expertise lay in software, he increasingly
took on clean technology, which became a focal point at Kleiner.