Drake Software blog for tax pros, covering tax, IRS news, and more

Uncle Sam vs. The Stars

Uncle Sam vs. The Stars

Uncle Sam vs. The Stars

Lavish meals at the finest restaurants, high-dollar sports cars with all the bells and whistles, and extravagant homes in high-scale neighborhoods – these are things celebrities consider normal.  Perhaps they’ve neglected to realize, that their normal is often the same as the average American – at least when it comes to Uncle Sam.  Like it or not, there’s no place to hide.

One name that comes to mind when you think about celebrities with tax woes is Willie Nelson. However, he’s not the celebrity with the largest tax bill.  Care to take a guess who tops the list of offenders? 

Here are a couple of hints.  He was recently released from jail after serving a three-year sentence for failure to file U.S. income tax returns for five consecutive years; he’s earned multiple black belts in several karate disciplines; and he’s starred in multiple Blade movies, White Men Can’t Jump, and Demolition Man.  

That’s right.  Wesley Snipes tops the list of with a tax bill totaling $17 million.

Which other celebrities are on the list?  Well, Willie Nelson remains near the top with a tax bill of $16.7 million.  Dionne Warwick racked up $10 million; Sinbad skipped out on $8.15 million; and Nicholas Cage reached $6.2 million.  Martin Scorsese, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Al Sharpton, Annie Leibovitz, and Lionel Richie all succeed to surpass $1 million tax bills, too.  Several other celebrities make the list including Lil’ Kim, Val Kilmer, Pamela Anderson, O.J. Simpson, Stephen Baldwin, Christina Ricci, Al Capone, Chuck Berry, and Sophia Loren.

When it comes right down to it, Uncle Sam doesn’t care who you are, what you do, or who you know.  He only cares that you pay your taxes.


by Kenya Hoffart, Industry Writer

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