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STRATEGIC TAX LAWYERS:  TAX BLOG

Celebrities with Tax Troubles

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Celebrities are just as likely as the average taxpayer to have the IRS on their backs.  It actually makes sense because celebrities who make the big bucks, want to keep their money and often they feel they won’t get caught.  But as tax attorneys in Los Angeles, at our firm the Strategic Tax Lawyers, we have seen the IRS make examples of these celebrities making no one exempt to the tax law.

Some of the following examples are famous singers who aren’t very favored by the IRS.  We can assume that if the IRS were fans of these celebrities before, they are not now.

Take Lauryn Hill for example.  Lauryn Hill, a singer for the Fugees spent about three months in a Connecticut prison in 2013 because she failed to pay federal taxes on nearly $2 million that she earned between 2005 and 2007. After she served her sentence, Hill was served with seven more outstanding liens that totaled over $860,000.

In 2013, singer Mary J. Blige was issued a tax lien for neglecting to pay taxes on over $3.4 million in income over three years. In addition, she owed the State of New Jersey taxes in the amount of $900,000.

Other singers, like Dionne Warwick filed for bankruptcy two years ago due to financial mismanagement which included over $10 million that she owed for both state and federal income taxes from the 1990s. Although her accountants attempted to negotiate payment plans they claim that the plans were not accepted, which caused for astounding interest and penalties.

Two more female singers, Toni Braxton and Lil Kim, have also been in the spotlight for financial woes. Twice Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy and she in 2010 she owed the IRS $400,000.  Lil Kim also owed the IRS over $1 million in 2012 due to an unpaid tax bill from the mid-2000s.  Tax attorneys helped Lil Kim resolve this IRS matter.

Some of the better known make singer/celebrities with IRS struggles include Lionel Richie.  In 2012, Lionel Richie was informed that as a result of unpaid income taxes in 2010, he owed over $1 million to the IRS.  Apparently he handled that situation immediately before it escalated.  

Rappers Lil Wayne, Flavor Flav and Bow Wow also had IRS problems.  Lil Wayne owes the IRS over $12 million in taxes. Flavor Flav did not file taxes in the mid-2000s and owes the IRS approximately $1 million.  Bow Wow did not pay his taxes over three years and owes the IRS over $125,000.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of Santa Monica Tax Attorneys, IRS tax attorneys, and tax relief lawyers.  We, at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm, are experts in tax code with years of experience dealing with the IRS.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.