What is it with celebrities and the IRS? Seems like every time we turn around, another boldface name has run into trouble with the taxman. Most recently, Ja Rule pleaded guilty to tax evasion, but Al Pacino, Snoop Dogg and Forest Whitaker also are currently in hot water with Uncle Sam. It is a common belief that the Internal Revenue Service deliberately targets celebrities in order to keep the rest of us in line. (The IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment.) And there may be a few legitimate reasons why celebrities just can’t seem to pay (or even file) their taxes. Surrounded by agents, managers and accountants, celebrities who have made piles of money fast sometimes don’t keep a close enough watch on their handlers. Other celebrity tax “mistakes” are just like the knuckle-headed errors we make — failing to file an extension, mixing up personal and corporate expenses, forgetting to include all sources of income. It may actually be harder for A-listers to figure out what they owe, given the erratic nature of their pay cycles and big windfalls.
Whatever the reasons, here’s TFT’s rendition of Tax Troubles of the Rich and Famous.
To read all of The Fiscal Times’ Tax Day Countdown Series click here.