Today may be Halloween, but the ghosts and goblins roaming the streets are not what is scary these days.
I am simply horrified by the number of celebrities in need of a good tax attorney in Los Angeles because they owe so many back taxes.
I sort of talked about this a little while ago, back when Randy Quaid and his wife Evi Quaid were first arrested for skipping out on a hotel bill, and it was found that they also owed a bunch of taxes.
Celebrities obviously feel they are above the law and can basically do whatever they please. Some of the excuses they use to explain away their lack of tax paying are down right comical.
Method Man of the Wu Tang Clan claims his $33,000 tax oversight is due to the massive amount of pot he smokes; that he simple forgot. I’m sorry, but no one raised in America “forgets” to pay their taxes. I wonder if he’s found a good tax attorney yet.
Actor Robert Patrick, of Terminator 2 and X-Files fame, says he had no clue he owed the state $176,000 in back taxes, and places the blame square on the shoulders of his manager, who he has since fired. Patrick has said he will pay what he needs to so that he’ll be in compliance with both the State of California and the IRS. As long as he stays true to his word and pays what he owes, I guess Robert Patrick won’t be in need of a Los Angeles tax attorney anytime soon.
“I think the prevalence of celebrity tax problems can be traced to a combination of celebrities thinking that the normal rules that apply to everyone else don’t apply to them, and the IRS’s desire to bring high-profile cases against celebrities to discourage others from engaging in tax evasion,” [Tax Law Professor Paul L. Caron] says.
Stephen Baldwin filed for bankruptcy over the summer in part because he owed $1 mil in taxes. Jay-Z’s former business partner Damon Dash reportedly owed more than $2 million in state taxes in 2007 despite the fact that he was being chauffeured around town in a $400,000 Maybach and in 2006, Wesley Snipes was indicted for fraudulently claiming tax refunds of up to $12 million and simply not filing any returns for six years.
“Money breeds power and some celebrities let it go to their heads. While riding high on the fact that they are flush with disposable income (cash) they sometimes forget about the big picture,” says New York City CPA John Cipollone. “They almost feel that their money will get them out of any situation, be it a criminal trial or a tax trial. Meanwhile, what they don’t realize is that their reckless actions can land them in prison and have them worrying about dropping the soap rather than dropping an album or a movie.”
Very well said, Mr. Cipollone; very well said.