Rapper Ja Rule joined the unfortunate ranks of celebrities who have been charged with tax evasion. As a result, he has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for failing to file income tax returns. The judge also ordered him to pay $1.1 million in unpaid taxes. It can be mind boggling to fans when the rich and famous can spend millions on homes and cars, but skip out on paying their tax obligations. Some claim they had accounts who were supposed to file tax returns on their behalf, others knew and just hoped they would never get caught. The following is a profile of five celebrities who were charged with tax evasion.
Martha Stewart was so busy baking cupcakes and making table centerpieces, she somehow forgot to pay $220,000 in taxes on her New York home. However, Uncle Sam caught up to Stewart and charged her with tax evasion. She later claimed that since she hardly spent any time in her N.Y. apartment, she should not have to pay taxes on it.
In 2009, the IRS charged actor Nicolas Cage with illegally writing off personal expenses, such as meals, limousines, travel, gifts, and did I mention the private jet? He was also fined for failing to pay taxes on the $24 million he made for the movies "Ghost Rider" and "Grindhouse." Cage's tax woes ended up costing him lots of dough a few of him homes.
In the early 1990s, Willie Nelson was slapped with a $16.7 million bill for back taxes. The country crooner claimed his accountants hadn't paid his taxes for many years. The IRS froze his banks accounts and auctioned off most of his property in order to pay the bill. Many of Nelson's fans and friends were kind enough to buy his possessions and then return them to him. Nelson also released an album of songs with the specific purpose of relieving his tax burden with the proceeds.
Wesley Snipes was once at the top of his game, starring in a large number of hit movies. Now he is known as inmate number 43355-018. The star of the "Blade" trilogy was charged with failing to file income taxes on more than $13 million of acting income. After two years of appeals, he had to report to prison, trading in his street clothes for a prison uniform.
Singer Marc Anthony has been in the news recently due to his split from Jennifer Lopez. However he made headlines in the past when it was determined he had not filed tax returns for four years. Thanks to his very own legal dream team, Anthony was able to convince the Internal Revenue Service that he believed his financial advisers had filed his taxes on his behalf and that's why he didn't do it himself. He did not end up serving any jail time, but he was ordered to pay 2.5 million dollars in back taxes.
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- income tax returns
- Wesley Snipes
- Jennifer Lopez
- Marc Anthony
- Nicolas Cage
- Ja Rule