Have you ever heard the elders say all I have to do is stay Black, pay taxes and die?
Well, there’s a reason for that.
Every US citizen has to pay their fair share of taxes, even the rich, famous and privileged. Despite having access to the finer things in life, and often side-stepping most of the inconveniences that every day people have to face, the IRS doesn’t roll out the red carpet celebrities. The elite — or those who make more than $500,000/year — are most susceptible to getting audited the IRS.
In fact, wealthy taxpayers with an annual income of at least $10 million have the highest audit rate of all groups, at more than 6%. “Statistically, the people over $10 million still have the highest percentage,” said Glenn DiBenedetto, director of tax planning for New England Investment and Retirement Group in an interview with USA Today.
Although the rate at which the IRS is launching audit investigations is declining due to a labor shortage, it’s still safe to say that tax-paying should be a high priority for high-earners. These celebrities can attest to that. Here’s a look at some of our favorite public figures that have had tax troubles, but found their way out.
After the sentence was served, Hill was reportedly under parole supervision for a year, with the first three months spent confined to her home.
It was reported in 2019 that Hill settled the debt and is now touring the world, blessing us with her hits and electric energy.
In a 2020 interview with People Magazine, the famed actor said “I came out a clearer person,” added Snipes. “Clearer on my values, clearer on my purpose, clearer about my relationship with my ancestors and the great god and the great goddess above, and clearer on what I was going to do once I had my freedom back.”
“The biggest thing I got from it was learning the value of time and how we often squander it … I understand that very clearly now, having been away from my family and loved ones two and a half years.”
In an interview with Earn Your Leisure, the comedy legend shared that he wiped out a $25M IRS debt by paying $650K a month for 7 years.
“I sat my wife down, and she cried, and I held her, and I told her it was going to be all right; I was going to get us out,” he said. To date, he shared his payments are up-to-date.
The funnyman rose to fame with his roles on A Different World and films like The First Kid and Good Burger. But in 2013, Sinbad had to file for bankruptcy after not paying state or federal taxes since 2009, and subsequently owing back payments. In total, he owed the IRS $8.3 million from 1998 to 2006, as reported by ABC News.
It’s not known whether the tax debt is wiped out but he has shared he’s working diligently to manage it.
The podcaster and popular rapper earned millions from his hits over the years but ultimately wound up serving four months in prison in 2013 after he pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to file taxes with the IRS. He reportedly failed to file returns on more than $3 million in income, according to Reuters.
There was a lot going on in the years that I didn’t file my taxes, but it was my responsibility,” Fat Joe said.
It was also reported that she owes $116,154.64 in back taxes to the state of California, bringing the total to $456,407.63. Since this was reported in 2019, she has since launched a skincare line among other ventures and have spoken about their success. Hopefully, these endeavors have helped to clear the reported debt.
Friends are meant to help you get through tough times, even IRS trouble. In 2017 Rapper Lil Wayne reportedly owed more than $14 million to the IRS due to years of missed payments–and Jay Z paid it. Over the years, Lil Wayne hasn’t been shy in thanking him and profusely shows his gratitude in interviews.
Actor-comedian Chris Tucker shot to stardom with his beloved roles in Friday and the Rush Hour franchise, breaking box office records in the process. But, despite the success, he found himself owing a $2.5 million fee to lift a tax lien in 2014, pointing to “poor accounting and business management.” Since then the debt has reportedly been settled.