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Celebrity Tax Troubles: What You Can Learn from the Stars

handcuffs on an American 1040 income tax form indicating tax fraud or evasion
Vince Clements/Alamy
April 15 is just around the corner, and you've put off doing your taxes until now, you may want to read up on the latest tax changes and last-minute filing tips. That's key if you're keen on keeping out of the sights of the Internal Revenue Service. And if you don't, you just might wind up like too many celebrities who thought IRS laws didn't apply to them.

A review of famous names who've made the news in recent years for owing the IRS turns up a few patterns. Tax scofflaw celebrities aren't usually the sort of figures known as "A-Listers" -- and if they are, they tend to be somewhere past their prime. Claims of financial mismanagement often figure into celebrities' financial misfortunes. There's often a significant amount of marital discord behind the fiscal issues as well.

A USA Today report headlined "Celebrities are often in debt to the tax man" was somewhat 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.

Here's a roundup of some of the more infamous celebrity tax dodgers.

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Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

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Lauryn Hill's album was LOUSY - LAU-Z.

No wonder she went "underground".

April 15 2014 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do those Hollywooders is live in Lala land so much that they are totally clueless as to the realities of life?

April 14 2014 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I understand these people do what they do but still no one is bring the irs to justice they screw over so many people each year and get away with it the irs ranks up there with city officials suck as mayors ,governors' ,city council,police there all thieves !!!!

April 14 2014 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ALL were liberals and majority black. are they dumb or just criminals. As I said, they are liberal democrats.

April 14 2014 at 11:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

People should pay their taxes.But sometimes those who attack the 1% for not paying enough taxes, pay no taxes themselves.

April 14 2014 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They all are delusional that they think the celebrity aspect works to keep them out of jail- above the law and lawyered up to boot!

April 14 2014 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone else notice the percentage of "types" (ghetto wannabe's) of people that try to evade paying taxes? Funny... Most of them also talk about how the rich should pay more...! They should make them pay what they owe and fine them double!

April 14 2014 at 7:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I pay my taxes. They should pay theirs in full or go to jail even if they lose everything.

April 14 2014 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Instead of "stars" insert "LOSERS".

April 14 2014 at 6:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Vote Democrat or Die by Audit

April 14 2014 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply