There are two certainties in life; death and taxes. No matter if you make millions of dollars every year or if you only make a few thousand, you are going to get taxed. And just like us, celebrities can run into tax trouble too. Celebrities usually run into tax trouble when they don’t pay the taxes on their earnings, when they file fraudulent returns or lie about their income. Here are just a few of the celebrities who had their own run ins with the IRS.
First up is rapper Nelly who ran into trouble with the IRS when he didn’t pay his taxes for several years. Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., known as Nelly, currently owes the IRS $2,412,283 for back taxes along with penalties and interest. Because of the large tax debt, the IRS has placed a lien on the rapper, and that lien happens to be the largest lien we’ve seen on a public figure. The lien is so big in fact, that the IRS could start seizing his property very soon. But Nelly has acquired some unexpected help with paying his taxes through the social media hashtag, #SaveNelly. His fan base committed to streaming his music constantly to help him pay off the taxes he owes. Nelly’s 2002 hit song “Hot in Herre” has increased its downloads by 200% since the fan wave began. Nelly receives 0.006% for every online stream. So, it will take him and his fans a minute before they pay off his balance. While his fans are giving him help, Nelly, wanting to avoid any more legal attention, is currently working to reach an agreement with IRS authorities regarding how he can manage to pay the money back. Give us a call, Nelly! We’d be happy to help!
Nelly isn’t the only rapper getting into trouble with the IRS. Rap Singer DMX was arrested and charged with tax fraud for allegedly evading $1.7 million in taxes. The IRS along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York have accused the 46-year-old performer of engaging in a scheme to conceal millions of dollars in income from the IRS from 2002 to 2005. It was during that time that DMX earned over $2.3 million in income from his recordings, along with appearances on reality TV. Prosecutors claimed he maintained a “cash lifestyle” by avoiding the use of a personal bank account. Instead of having his own bank account, DMX whose real name is Earl Simmons, used his business managers’ account to pay most of his own personal expenses. Allegedly when DMX received the royalty money from his music, he had the income deposited into the manager’s account who then gave him cash. The rapper is facing 14 counts of tax evasion, failure to file a tax return and corruptly trying to obstruct and impede the administration of IRS laws.
And finally, renowned soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo could face jail time if Spanish prosecutors find him guilty of tax-fraud. Spain’s tax agency says Ronaldo allegedly defrauded authorities of 15 million euros ($16.7 million) between 2011 and 2014. Spanish prosecutors say they have until the end of June to decide whether or not to charge the Real Madrid star. The prosecutors say they will look at the evidence found by tax officials and then make their decision. The charges stem from alleged irregularities related mostly to money that Ronaldo kept in accounts in the Virgin Islands. If prosecutors decide to charge Ronaldo and he is found guilty in court, Ronaldo could face a prison sentence of at least 15 months. Officials say it is unlikely that Ronaldo will go to jail since he is a first-time offender.
If you or someone you know is dealing with tax issues or needs help getting back on track, Polston Tax is here to help. Our team of tax attorneys and tax preparers can help you file overdue tax returns and work with the IRS to settle your tax debt. Give us a call at 844-841-9857 to schedule a free consultation.