HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? !? Um, doesn't he have someone looking after his money? He's got endorsements up the kazoo, not to mention whatever he gets for appearances these days. He's gotta have money falling out his ass - so why does he owe the State of California $23,289.16 in back taxes?
According to TMZ Phelps owes that tidy sum for his '05 and '06 taxes - a lien has been on the books since last year. They didn't contact Michael's people to see if they were aware of it but I think they must. There's no such thing as a surprise lien - they usually give plenty of warning (and opportunity to pay up) before that happens. People who ignore tax liens usually wake up to repo'd cars and frozen bank accounts. But not our Golden Boy.
Will Michael Phelps pay his debt to the country that made him an international star, or will he Wesley Snipe himself into an extended trip to the Bahamas? He'll probably have to look deep into his crystal bong. Of course that might make him forget the whole thing. Or maybe that's how he got himself into this mess.