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Rich and famous not always smart about taxes

Celebrities face tax liens, foreclosure or more for failing to pay federal and state levies.

By Jeff Schnepper Mar 15, 2010 10:25AM

I’d think that someone making millions of dollars would have the smarts to hire a professional to make sure their taxes were appropriately filed and paid.


It constantly amazes and astounds me how many of the rich and famous get in trouble because they’re either financially dumb or incredibly greedy.

Rapper Snoop Dogg was bitten hard by the IRS in February when the IRS filed a tax lien of nearly $600,000 against him. That’s twice as much as the state of California liened against him in 2009, putting the total at nearly $1 million owed in taxes. It’s a rap sheet to be proud of.


Former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson was also busted by the IRS and California when they both filed tax liens against her in December 2009.

Brooke Shields and her husband were hit the following month with a $10,000 lien by the IRS.


Late Motown singer Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, woke up in January with an $184,997 IRS lien against his assets.


Comedian Sinbad owes $8.15 million to the IRS, which is moving to foreclose on his home to pay the debt.


Nicholas Cage probably never should have left Las Vegas. In August 2009, the IRS slammed him with a $6.2 million tax lien. Cage then sued his former manager, Samuel Levin, for not paying his taxes and for poor investment decisions. In the meantime, Cage also owes $128,000 in back taxes on his Rhode Island mansion, and his Las Vegas home was foreclosed on.


Zsa Zsa Gabor was the lucky winner of an IRS lien in November 2009 for $118,321 in taxes not paid for 2001 and 2002. She blamed Bernard Madoff. I’m not sure I follow the connection, but I hear he’s also responsible for much of our global warming and the fact that my daughter Allison doesn’t have a job.


At least Zsa Zsa doesn’t face time wearing stripes behind bars. Actor Wesley Snipes is currently appealing his conviction for not filing his tax returns, and the three-year prison sentence that comes along with it.


That should sound a warning bell to the members of the Black-eyed Peas, who filed suit against their manager in December 2009 for failing to file their tax returns for years.


I guess they all tried to do the right thing and pay their income taxes with a smile. But the silly, intransigent IRS still wants a check.


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