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 bypassing most of the inconveniences people face every day, the IRS doesn’t roll out the red carpet for celebrities. The elite — or those making more than $500,000 a year — are the most vulnerable to being scrutinized by the IRS.
In fact, wealthy taxpayers with annual incomes of $10 million or more have the highest audit rate of any group at more than 6%. “Statistically, people over $10 million still have the highest percentage,” Glenn DiBenedetto, director of tax planning at the New England Investment and Retirement Group, said in an interview with USA Today.
Although the rate at which the IRS initiates audit investigations has been declining due to labor shortages, it’s still safe to say that paying taxes for high earners should be a high priority. These celebrities can attest to that. Here’s a look at some of our favorite public figures who have had tax troubles but found a way out.
The prankster rose to fame with his roles in A Different World and films like The First Kid and Good Burger. But in 2013, Sinbad filed for bankruptcy after failing to pay state or federal taxes since 2009 and subsequently owing back payments. In all, he owed the IRS $8.3 million from 1998 to 2006, ABC News reported. It is unknown if the tax bill has been wiped out, but he has shared that he is working diligently to manage it.
The podcaster and popular rapper has made millions from his hit songs over the years but ended up serving four months in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to file taxes with the IRS. He reportedly failed to file an income statement in excess of $3 million, according to Reuters. There’s been a lot going on in the years that I haven’t filed my taxes, but it was my responsibility,” Fat Joe said.
Friends are meant to help you get through tough times, even IRS troubles. In 2017, rapper Lil Wayne allegedly owed the IRS more than $14 million from years of missed payments — and Jay Z paid it. Over the years, Lil Wayne hasn’t been shy about thanking him and shows his gratitude extensively in interviews.
Actor and comedian Chris Tucker rose 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 owed a $2.5 million fee to clear a tax lien in 2014, citing “poor accounting and management.” Since then, the debts are said to have been settled.