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Reality Stars in Trouble With the IRS

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reality stars have been catching the attention of the Internal Revenue Service. Specifically Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Joe and Teresa Giudice who have been a favorite of the IRS. They are notorious for having tax issues and just recently the IRS slapped them with another tax lien for over $550,000. The couple has been found guilty of multiple tax crimes for failing to file their tax return. Currently Teresa is serving a prison sentence until the end of this year. At that time, Joe will do his time in prison. Why is it that reality stars are on the IRS’ radar? What can we learn from these reality stars that we can share with our clients and other taxpayers?

Here are some tips that you can follow so that you don’t fall into similar situations as reality stars like the Giudices.

First, you need to file your income tax returns. If you don’t, even if you are a reality star, you will get the IRS on your tail. Take the example of former Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.  He claimed not guilty for not paying taxes on earnings equaling approximately $9 million. A tax attorney had to take on the case to defend “The Situation” for conspiracy to defraud the government, filing fraudulent tax returns for two years and not filing for taxes one year.  Sorrentino had to let his legal counsel go when he could no longer afford to pay him. 

The tax law states that failing to file a tax return will result in a fine of up to $25,000 plus a possibility of prison time. This amount is more severe for a corporation.  The basic lesson to learn from here is that failing to file and failing to pay are both going to cost you more in the long run when the IRS catches you. However, if you can’t afford to pay your taxes, you should definitely file your income taxes. The penalties will not be as severe. 

Another tip to learn from these reality stars is not to submit fraudulent tax returns to the IRS. This seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how often this occurs. One reality star, Jeff Zausch of the show “Naked and Afraid XL” faced insurance fraud charges for giving false information to an insurance company after a car accident. Zausch was caught in a bit of a problem and was forced to pay a fine, had to do community service and was on probation. 

Strategic Tax Lawyers LLP are experienced IRS tax lawyers, estate planning attorneys and offshore attorneys who have counseled clients about the protection of their assets and offshore tax havens.  These IRS tax lawyers can help you plan how to remove guesswork to prevent any issues.  The Strategic Tax Lawyers offer free and confidential consultations about estate planning, estate tax exemption, will & trusts and tax-related issues. Call today at (800) 669-4775 if you need assistance.