Supermodel Christie Brinkley is the latest celebrity to be hit with a tax lien from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS filed suit last week, claiming Billie Joel’s ex owes them $531,720 in back taxes from a property she owns in Long Island. Her rep says, “Christie Brinkley was surprised to hear today that a tax lien had been filed, and has instructed her team to resolve the matter immediately,” according to The New York Daily News. Brinkley now joins a long list of celebrities who tried to skimp Uncle Sam in taxes. Celebrity Law takes a look at where she stacks up compared with other tax offenders.
Actor Nicholas Cage was hit with tax liens by the IRS for unpaid taxes from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 & 2008. Cage said of the legal snafus, “Over the course of my career I have paid at least $70 million in taxes,” according to TMZ. “Unfortunately, due to a recent legal situation, another approximate $14 million is owed to the IRS, however, I am under new business management and am happy to say that I am current for 2009. All taxes will be paid including any to be determined state taxes.”
Wesley Snipes is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for misdemeanors stemming from failing to file tax returns for six consecutive years, starting in 1999. While he was charged with federal tax fraud and conspiracy, a jury trial found him innocent of both felony charges.
Actor Chris Tucker was slapped with a hefty tax bill back in July 2010, and has failed to pay back all of the money owed on unpaid income taxes from multiple years. Should the Rush Hour star fail to pay the IRS back, they can start seizing his assets. The comedian joked of the incident, “that’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes.”
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne were hit with a tax lien of more than $1.7 million for back taxes not paid for 2008 and 2009. Then it was revealed the reality star family still owed $357,070 in unpaid federal income taxes from 2007, bringing their grand total to just over $2 million. Sharon tweeted of the scandal, “You can’t rely on anyone but yourself. You have to be on top of your own business affairs. My fault…lesson learned.” The state of California also filed a tax lien against her daughter Kelly for $34,000.
Lil Jon was hit with a massive tax lien for unpaid fees from 2010. The rapper failed to pay taxes on his $1.9 million home in the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. He failed to settle the debt and the mansion was foreclosed on in August 2010.
Al Pacino was hit with a tax lien stemming from unpaid taxes in 2008 and 2009. The actor blamed the snafu on fraudulent celebrity money manager Kenneth Starr, and squared away the issue once he hired a new money manager.
Bow Wow was allegedly slapped with a tax lien in Florida after failing to pay fully his taxes in 2006, according to TMZ. The 24-year-old rapper denied the charges, writing on his blog, “TMZ saying they are about to runa story on me thats once again “Not True” as I’m sitting in my beautiful condo as of RIGHT NOW that they said I don’t have anymore. (Bow Wow with no home that’s like a whore that doesn’t like d**k) We all know not to believe anything the media writes or blogs its their job to entertain the minds of the simple minded.”
The list of tax offenders goes on and on, and includes Marc Anthony (2.5 million), JaRule ($1.1 million) and Jamie Pressly ($637,000). So as we head into the new year, lets hope the rich and famous learn from their mistakes and make good on their debts to Uncle Sam.