Published On: Apr 16 2012 11:34:56 PM EDTUpdated On: Apr 15 2015 10:08:46 AM EDT
Blaming bad management and failed real estate deals, Nicolas Cage found himself owing the IRS $14 million in back taxes. The actor paid $6.25 million in 2012, leaving him with more than $7 million owed in back taxes, but has been slowly chipping away at his tax debt since.
Actor Wesley Snipes was convicted of willfully failing to pay taxes from 1999-2001. He began serving a three-year prison sentence in 2010 and was released on April 6, 2013.
Eight-time Grammy-winner Lauryn Hill pleaded guilty in the summer of 2012 to not paying federal taxes on more than $1.5 million earned over three years. She was eventually sentenced to three months in prison and served all but a few days of her sentence, being released for good behavior on Oct. 4, 2013. She also had to pay $970,000 in back taxes and penalties and spend another three months in home confinement.
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, one of the stars of MTV's "Jersey Shore" series,was indicted in September 2014 for failing to pay taxes on $8.9 million in income. Sorrentino and his brother are charged with falsifying their business and personal tax returns between 2010 and 2012. He's seen here arriving for a court appearance in Newark, New Jersey, on Oct. 23, 2014.
Rapper Ja Rule was sentenced to 28 months in prison in July 2011 for failing to pay taxes on more than $3 million in earnings between 2004 and 2006. He was also ordered to pay $1 million plus penalties. Already in prison on a two-year sentence for attempted possession of a weapon that he began serving in June 2011, he was able to serve both sentences concurrently and was eventually released from prison early on May 7, 2013.
In 2006, Ron Isley, the lead singer and founding member of the R&B and funk group The Isley Brothers, known for songs such as "Shout," "Twist and Shout," "That Lady" and "It's Your Thing," was convicted of tax evasion charges and sentenced to three years and one month in prison. He completed his sentence on April 13, 2010.
The Internal Revenue Service filed documents with the L.A. County Recorder's Office in July 2010 that showed "Rush Hour" star Chris Tucker owed $11,571,909.26 in federal taxes for the years 2001, 2002 and 2004 through 2006. In 2012, the state of Georgia added another $592,594.82 tax lien for the year 2007. According to TMZ, he paid the state of Georgia nearly $1 million in 2013 to cover the tax lein and another previously unreported lein against him. In September 2014, he reportedly reached a deal with the IRS to settle his tax problems.
After pleading guilty to two charges of filing false income tax returns not showing income he received from selling autographs and memorabilia, and from horse racing winnings, Pete Rose served five months in prison in 1990-1991.
Country singer Willie Nelson, aka "The Red-Headed Stranger," became friends with the IRS in 1993 when he settled a $16 million delinquent tax bill. The tax evasion nightmare began in 1990 for Nelson, which cost him nearly all of his personal belongings (which many fans and friends bought at auctions and gave back to him). Nelson also released the album "The IRS Tapes: Who Will Buy My Memories," and its profits were directed to the IRS.
O.J. Simpson's doing jail time for his role in an armed confrontation over sports memorabilia, but that's not his only problem. He was named on a list issued by the state of California in 2007 for owing $1.4 million in personal income taxes, with a tax lien dating back to 1999.
In December 2011, it was announced that supermodel Christie Brinkley owed the IRS $531,720 in back taxes, with a lien being placed on her $30 million New York mansion.
Stephen Baldwin avoided jail time in March 2013 by pleading guilty to repeated failure to file income taxes for 2008-10 and agreeing to pay $300,000 in back taxes. He was given five years to pay the tax bill, but could avoid probation and have the charge taken off his record if he paid it back within one year. In April 2014, Baldwin's lawyer announced the actor had met the one-year deadline.
In February 2013, Mary J. Blige was hit with a tax lien of $901,769.65 by New Jersey. The nine-time Grammy winner paid off the the tax bill by the spring of the following year, according to a report from TMZ, but still owes the IRS for more than $3.4 million in back income taxes.
Famed director Martin Scorsese was reportedly hit with a tax lien for $2.85 million in back taxes in February 2011. At the time, a spokeswoman for the director said that the lien was "a complete mistake" and that Scorsese no longer owed the IRS any money.
Grammy-winner Lionel Richie was hit with a tax lien in 2012 for allegedly failing to $1.1 million in federal income tax for 2010. At the time, Richie said he had just been made aware of the issue and was working to resolve it. In August 2014, TMZ reported that he had paid the debt and was now current.
Besides her legal problems, Lindsay Lohan has also had her fair share of tax drama too. In December 2012, the IRS seized her bank accounts in an attempt to secure unpaid federal taxes of $140,203.30 from 2010 and $93,701.57 from 2009. Then she was hit with a third tax bill in 2013 for allegedly failing to pay $56,717.90 in taxes to the State of California for 2011.
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne faced a lien on their $12 million California home after owing back taxes of $718,948 from 2008 and $1 million from 2009. The couple announced in April 2012 that they had paid their outstanding taxes.
In 2007, Marc Anthony was ordered to pay $2.5 million in back taxes for failing to file tax returns from 2000 to 2004. Then in 2010, New York authorities filed a demand for $1.8 million in back taxes and the IRS placed a $1.6 million lien on his property. In January 2011, he settled the more recent tax problems.
In 2009, former "Baywatch" beauty and Playboy model Pamela Anderson received a $1.7 million lien from the IRS. The state of California also filed a $252,360 tax lien against her in Los Angeles.
Singer Dionne Warwick declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 21, 2013, reportedly due to the mismanagement of her business affairs. She listed liabilities of nearly $7 million owed to the IRS for the years 1991 to 1999 and more than $3 million in business taxes owed to the state of California.
Actress Christina Ricci was hit with a $179,000 tax lien in 2010 from back taxes not paid in 2008. Her representative said at the time that she was taking "immediate action to address it in a responsible manner."
Facing a nearly $500,000 tax lien from the IRS and another $67,934 from the state of California, "Top Gun" and "Batman Forever" star Val Kilmer got out of tax trouble in the fall of 2011 by finally finding a buyer for his 5,328-acre New Mexico ranch that he had been trying to sell since 2009.
TMZ first reported in 2012 that hip-hop singer Lil' Kim owed more than $1 million in back taxes. One of her representatives at the time said the singer had "hired professional representation to amicably resolve the situation." She's no stranger to legal troubles, having served 10 months of a one-year prison sentence in 2005-06 after being convicted of three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury for lying to a federal grand jury about her friends' involvement in a 2001 shooting.
Public Enemy rapper turned reality TV star Flavor Flav ran afoul of the IRS in August 2012, with the feds filing a tax lien against him claiming he owed nearly $1 million in back taxes from 2004 through 2006.
Life's not always a good thing for lifestyle maven Martha Stewart. In 1994, Stewart was ordered by the state of New York to pay $200,000 in state taxes. Stewart claimed that she wasn't responsible to pay the bill since she was only a part-time resident of the state.
World famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti was convicted of tax evasion in 1999, and ordered to pay $11 million to the Italian Courts. He was again accused of tax evasion by his hometown of Modena in 2001. The opera star was acquitted of the charges and spared what would have been an $18 million fine.
Boxing promoter Don King was charged with tax evasion in 1991, but a mistrial was declared after one of the jurors admitted to reading an article about possible jail time for such an offense. He was later charged with nine counts of insurance fraud, of which he was acquitted.
Not wanting to be one of "the little people" who pay taxes, billionaire Leona Helmsley and her husband withheld millions in tax revenue. She was sentenced to almost two years in prison along with a $7 million fee in 1990. Rumor indicates that she had money smuggled into prison for the purpose of paying an inmate to be her servant.
Redd Foxx filed for bankruptcy protection in 1983, but that didn't stop the IRS from raiding his Las Vegas home and seizing his possessions to pay off $3 million he owed in back taxes, interest and penalties. He remained in the hole until his death in 1991.
Comedian Richard Pryor's tumultuous career included an arrest for tax evasion in June 1974. He served 10 days in the Los Angeles County Jail for the offense, and teamed with comedian Flip Wilson to throw a benefit concert for the jail's 300 inmates soon after.
Becoming the first "Survivor" winner came at a cost for Richard Hatch, who in 2006 was convicted for failing to pay taxes on his $1 million paycheck. As a result, Hatch was sentenced to a 51 months in prison. However, in March 2011, he received another nine months in prison for violating the terms of his release by failing to file federal income tax returns.
Sammy Davis Jr. owed nearly $7.5 million in back taxes at the time of his death. It took his widow seven years to work out a settlement.
Legendary singer-songwriter Chuck Berry was charged with tax evasion in 1979. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to perform 1,000 hours worth of benefit shows after serving four months in prison.
In 1982, legendary actress Sophia Loren spent 18 days in an Italian prison for not paying taxes in her home country.
"Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan has long been fighting the Australian government over his taxes. When he flew to Sydney in August 2010, the government first blocked him from leaving, claiming he owed taxes on A$37.5 million of undeclared income. He was eventually allowed to leave and was later cleared of tax evasion charges.