WWE Inc., the basis of Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s wealth and record campaign spending, came to a $4.4 million settlement with the state of Connecticut in an audit of its 2005-07 taxes, a document acquired by ConcussionInc.net suggests.
McMahon is a co-founder of WWE, with husband Vince, and was the company’s CEO before embarking on a political career. In 2010 she was the Republican Senate candidate in a losing effort against now Senator Richard Blumenthal. This year she is the Republican standard bearer against Congressman Chris Murphy.
During the 2010 campaign, news emerged that WWE was being audited by the Connecticut Labor Department for alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors. After the election, WWE and the state settled that dispute — which ended up being narrowly framed and not involving WWE’s wrestlers, the most important category of arugably misclassified employees — for a tiny sum.
Last Saturday, I received anonymously, by regular first-class mail, an envelope with a “SOUTHERN CT” postmark. (WWE is headquartered in Stamford.) The envelope contained one sheet of paper; I have uploaded a copy to http://muchnick.net/wweaudits.pdf. After conferring with several knowledgeable sources, I believe this is likely an internal company document leaked by a WWE employee.
WWE spokesman Kevin Hennessy has not returned an email requesting comment.
The document appears to summarize the disposition of tax audits of WWE by both the federal government and various states. By way of perspective, I should emphasize that all companies of WWE’s size might very well have small and large tax disputes with government agencies on a regular basis.
Whatever the context, the document shows that in a Connecticut tax audit for the period “04/30/05 thru 12/31/07,” a settlement was reached in the amount of $4.4 million. WWE also “agreed on going forward methodology,” presumably to forestall future such audits.
Perhaps experts and people within Connecticut can help further interpret the document. Have a tip? Send it to [email protected].