Explainer: Celebrity tax scandals 2010-2011

  • Image: Wyclef Jean
    Getty Images

    Celebrities usually crave the spotlight. But some well-known people have attracted a lot of attention they didn't want — from the IRS.

    While Wesley Snipes and Willie Nelson may be the poster boys for celebrity tax troubles, these other famous faces are some of the latest to get their 15 minutes of (unwanted IRS) fame.

    Click through our gallery to see 11 of the most recent examples of naughty stars accused of tax delinquency.

  • Martin Scorsese

    Image: Martin Scorsese

    Martin Scorsese may be an Oscar-winning filmmaker, but his success with landmark films such as Taxi Driver and Goodfellas just doesn't carry much weight with Uncle Sam. The IRS is demanding that the director/producer/actor/screenwriter pay $2.85 million in back taxes.

    See what Scorcese's publicist says about it here.

  • Jaime Pressly

    Image: Jamie Pressly
    Getty Images file

    It's been a tough year for My Name Is Earl actress, Jaime Pressly. If a DUI arrest, divorce and child custody battle weren't enough, the IRS has filed three separate tax liens against the star totalling more than $637,000.

    In her defense, Pressly told PopEater she "never claimed to be perfect."

    WalletPop: Are you kidding me? 11 outrageous taxes

  • Kelly Rowland

    Image: Kelly Rowland
    Getty Images

    Grammy-award winner Kelly Rowland rose to fame in the late 90s as part of the popular female R&B group, Destiny's Child.

    Now she's making headlines for a different reason: She hasn't been paying all of her taxes!

    Reportedly, Kelly Rowland owes the IRS $98,634 in back taxes, prompting the government to file a lien against her in November 2010.

  • Val Kilmer

    Image: Val Kilmer

    Uh-oh, Mr. Kilmer, what would Batman think? In December 2010, TMZ reported that the IRS had filed a lien against the actor in New Mexico, where he lives. The reason? Kilmer owes Uncle Sam nearly $500,000 on his 2008 income taxes.

    Does this seem like deja vu to you? It should. The Top Gun star also faced an IRS lien for $538,000 in 2009, but he has since paid that debt.

    WalletPop: Red flags: 7 common ways to trigger an audit

  • Marc Anthony

    Image: Marc Anthony

    Here's another celebrity who is no stranger to getting his taxes in a tangle: Marc Anthony.

    The Grammy-award-winning singer — and Jennifer Lopez's hubby — topped his 2007 tax lien (for $2.5 million) with an even more impressive $3.4 million tax lien in 2010.

    Huffington Post reports the amount owed was for unpaid taxes on his Long Island estate. Not long after the news broke, a representative for Anthony confirmed that the singer had worked out a deal with U.S. authorities to pay off the debt.

  • Naomi Campbell

    Image: Naomi Campbell
    Getty Images

    Hot-tempered British supermodel Naomi Campbell made headlines twice last year: Once for her reluctant testimony about the "blood diamonds" she received from Liberia's former warlord Charles Taylor and again for failing to pay $63,487 in taxes assessed in 2009.

    The lien, which was filed at the New York Registrar’s office, gave Naomi’s address as the Carnegie Hall Tower skyscraper in New York City.

    WalletPop: Five tax tips, tricks and traps for homeowners

  • Khloe Kardashian

    Image: Khloe Kardashian
    Getty Images

    In August 2010, it was reported that Khloe Kardashian owed $18,490.74 in back taxes from 2007 — the year that Keeping Up With the Kardashians first premiered.

    Between her reality TV shows, a chain of D-A-S-H clothing stores and professional basketball player husband Lamar Odom, perhaps Kardashian couldn't keep all her ducks in a row? Not so. Ms. Kardashian claimed she paid the money to her old accountant, but the accountant didn't pay the bill. The bill has reportedly since been settled.

  • Wyclef Jean

    Image: Wyclef Jean

    Someone better tell Wyclef Jean that before you can run a country, you have to have your own house in order. Last summer, CBSNews.com had something similar to say:

    "Wyclef Jean announced last week that he is running for president of Haiti. But before the Haitian musician and hip hop producer enters politics, he should probably pay his alleged back taxes here in the U.S. — all $5,278,430.10 worth.

    According to court records, dating back to 2004, obtained by CBS affiliate WFOR, the rapper, whose legal name is Nel W. Jean, and his wife Marie Claudinette, owe over $5 million in Federal IRS and state tax liens on properties in New York state, New Jersey and Florida."

    WalletPop: Don't even think about it! 9 tax deductions not to claim

  • Chris Tucker

    Image: Chris Tucker
    Getty Images

    The "Rush Hour" actor was identified by the IRS as owing $11.5 million in delinquent tax debt from tax years 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

    The IRS filed Notice of Federal Tax Liens on July 27, 2010 at the L.A. County Recorder’s Office against the actor-comedian.

    Here is our simple breakdown of Tucker's debt.

  • Rob Lowe

    Image: Rob Lowe

    On July 9, 2010, the IRS filed a lien for $269,956 against Lowe and his wife, Sheryl Berkoff. The lien was filed with the Recorder of Deeds in Montgomery County, Ohio. The couple also owes back taxes from 2008.

    However, the Brothers and Sisters star didn't seem to know anything about his tax trouble. “I checked with my client and he knows nothing whatsoever about this and has not been contacted by anyone in reference to this matter,” Alan Nierob, Lowe’s publicist, told The Detroit News.

    WalletPop: Seven lesser-known tax credits you may qualify for

  • Paul Hogan

    Image: Paul Hogan

    Crikey, mate! Don't make Crocodile Dundee angry. Actor Paul Hogan's tax troubles actually didn't involve Uncle Sam, they took place in "the land down under."

    In Sept. 2010, the actor was barred from leaving Australia over an unpaid-multi-million-dollar tax bill. In November, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) dropped the investigation and now Hogan is suing. Hogan claims the bad publicity from the inquiry cost him earnings.


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