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Celebrity Tax Troubles: What You Can Learn from the Stars

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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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Does Everyone Need to File an Income Tax Return?

Not everyone is required to file an income tax return each year. Generally, if your total income for the year doesn't exceed the standard deduction plus one exemption and you aren't a dependent to another taxpayer, then you don't need to file a federal tax return. The amount of income that you can earn before you are required to file a tax return also depends on the type of income, your age and your filing status.

How to Write Off Sales Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permits you to write off either your state and local income tax or sales taxes when itemizing your deductions. People who live in a state that does not impose income taxes often benefit most from this deduction. However, you might also be better off deducting sales taxes instead of income taxes if you make large purchases during the year and your total sales tax payments exceed those for state income tax. You can use either the actual sales taxes you paid or the IRS optional sales tax tables.

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realdealnyc

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
punnster

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
terrace

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
plewdawg

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
xpphil12

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
prnyl

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
Bobby

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
Tom

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
jpfmtka

Instead of "stars" insert "LOSERS".

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

what I don't understand is the ones who are making a lot of money who cheat on the income tax when they can well afford to pay the taxes and be hurt by it.

April 14 2014 at 6:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply