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NY Jets Star Santonio Holmes

DESTROYS $175k Tax Problem

1/1/2012 4:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Santonio Holmes
Uncle Sam
must have been THRILLED when Santonio Holmes signed his $50 million contract with the NY Jets back in July ... 'cause it may have helped the NFL star FINALLY pay off a 6-figure tax debt.

TMZ has learned ... the federal government had obtained a tax lien against the former Super Bowl hero back in March to the tune of $175,482.92 ... after Holmes allegedly screwed the IRS out of income tax for 2009.

But back in August -- after he signed the mega-deal -- Santonio paid off the debt  ... and is now even-Steven with the gov ... this according to official docs filed in Florida.

If only the Jets could turn things around that quickly ...

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