- Days left

Stephen Baldwin Joins Our Cast of 'Celebrity Tax Evaders'

×
NEW CITY, NY - MARCH 29: Attorney Russell Yankwitt (L) and client Stephen Baldwin (R) address the media after Baldwin pleaded guilty to a charge of repeated failure to file income taxes at Rockland County Courthouse on March 29, 2013 in New City, New York. Baldwin, a contestant on
Charles Norfleet/Getty Images Actor Stephen Baldwin pleaded guilty to a charge of repeated failure to file income taxes at Rockland County Courthouse on March 29 in New City, New York. At left, his attorney, Russell Yankwitt.
"Take, say, taxes. Everybody's against taxes. In a functioning democracy you'd be in favor of them. April 15th would be a day of celebration. You're getting together to fund the programs that you decided on." -- Noam Chomsky

"Stars -- they're just like US!" -- US Weekly

We're far from the ideal democracy described by Noam Chomsky, in which ordinary citizens feel involved in policy decisions and happily fund the society they've built together. We live, instead, in an US Weekly world, where the lives of celebrities command as much attention as the workings of government, if not more. And stars are indeed like us, only more so, in their alienation from communal enterprise, if a reluctance to pay taxes is any indication.


Stephen Baldwin is the latest famous person to end up in the news for neglecting his civic duty in this fashion. The star of The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) and Celebrity Big Brother 2010 was arrested in December 2012 and charged with failing to pay more than $350,000 in New York state income taxes; Baldwin apparently failed to file in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Baldwin did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, and also filed a lawsuit against Kevin Coster in 2010, alleging that he was cheated out of profits from oil-separating technology using during the BP Gulf spill cleanup. Baldwin sought $3.8 million; he lost the case and was awarded nothing.

By pleading guilty Friday morning to one count of repeated failure to file -- a class "E" felony -- Baldwin avoided prison time. He has already paid the state $100,000 in restitution and has agreed to shell out an additional $300,000 before his sentencing on July 19.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe took a harsh view of the youngest Baldwin brother's actions: "Individuals who attempt to steal from the public are stealing from the pockets of every New Yorker. Regardless of social status or income level, my office is committed to pursuing criminals who purposefully cheat the government and law-abiding taxpayers."

A USA Today report, "Celebrities are often in debt to the tax man," was somewhat more sympathetic to the plight of famous tax delinquents, explaining that "celebrities and entertainers -- unlike most taxpayers -- often have huge incomes that vary wildly from year to year -- an easy recipe for tax trouble.

A review of famous names recently in the papers for owing the IRS turns up a few patterns. Tax scofflaw celebrities aren't usually the sort of figures known as "A-Listers" -- or, if they are, like Lil Wayne, they tend to be somewhere past their prime. Rap, reality television, and claims of financial mismanagement by others also recur. There's a significant amount of marital trouble in these lives as well.



(Hat tip to Accounting Today, which keeps a running tally of "Celebrity Tax Foibles.")

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

What is a Schedule Q Form?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has two very different forms that go by the name Schedule Q. One of them is for people who participate in certain real estate investments; this is known as a Form 1066 Schedule Q. The other Schedule Q deals with employer benefit plans. It?s not something an individual taxpayer would normally have to deal with, though a small business owner might need it.

Incentive Stock Options

Some employers use Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) as a way to attract and retain employees. While ISOs can offer a valuable opportunity to participate in your company's growth and profits, there are tax implications you should be aware of. We'll help you understand ISOs and fill you in on important timetables that affect your tax liability, so you can optimize the value of your ISOs.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

2 Comments

Filter by:
ragbrairat

Yet another God fearing christian willing to judge others their vices while flaunting his own. I'm guessing he's a republican as well.....

April 01 2013 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dontcalld

hey christian boy, render unto ceaser

April 01 2013 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply