Recently, Lindsay Lohan was in the news for unpaid taxes from tax years 2009 and 2010, totalling nearly a quarter million dollars. Lohan has joined fellow celebrities, Pamela Anderson, Ozzy Osbourne, and Wesley Snipes who also had hefty IRS tax bills. Mr. Snipes is the only one of the group who is currently serving jail time for tax evasion.
The IRS never lets go of the opportunity to use celebrity back taxes as a promotional tool to improve tax compliance. For 2012, urban singers Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg were mentioned owing the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars. The IRS has placed a lien of more than $900,000 on Mary J. Blige, while Snoop Dogg, who had a lien from 2008 after unpaid taxes, has again found a lien of $546,000 in back taxes against him.
Celebrities in tax debt don’t necessarily try to evade taxes owed on their income, but many times find themselves, through ignorance of tax laws, complexities in filing, fraud by their accountants or miscalculation (intentional or otherwise), owing back taxes.
Failure to file taxes on time can easily be rectified by filing past tax returns in the next tax season. All taxpayers are required to file taxes correctly and on time to avoid a lien or levy, which are difficult to release and can be financially straining.
Getting a professional accountant and financial manager for correct and honest tax filing is important, especially for those who receive income from various sources or have a large source of annual income.
Celebrity or not, everybody needs to pay taxes accurately and on time, but it might be that celebrity back taxes get noticed by the IRS a little sooner.