5 Famous Tax Evasion Cases

by Outlaw on February 23, 2011

Marc Anthony - Celebrity Tax Scandals

His next hit? "...'cause I need to file..."

The only two things certain in life: death and taxes.

A few celebrities, who make far more than the minimum income to file taxes, have thought they could get away without the second part but were sorely mistaken.

Here are some of the most famous tax evasion cases.

It’s hard to believe these people, with all of their resources, get themselves in this position. These cautionary tales, straight out of Hollywood, will help you ring in the tax season.

Marc Anthony

Latino pop sensation Marc Anthony had a run in with the IRS when he had four years of unfilled tax returns. Anthony, along with a team of lawyers, convinced the IRS that he assumed that his financial team filed his tax returns for him and that’s why he didn’t do it himself. He was able to get out of doing jail time but had to pay 2.5 million dollars in back taxes.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes, the star of martial arts action hits such as the Blade Trilogy and Passenger 57, didn’t file his tax returns for political reasons and was sentenced to 3 years in jail and had to pay millions in back taxes.

Abbot and Costello

The comedic duo Abbot and Costello were charged with tax evasion by the IRS in 1956 and had to sell their homes and most of their assets which included the rights to many of their blockbuster films, such as Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein. Abbot and Costello are perhaps best known for their work in radio and their famous “Who’s on first?” joke.

Al Capone

In 1929 Eliot Ness lead an investigation on famous gangster Al Capone in hopes to get a conviction for tax evasion. Al Capone was indicted in 1931 and sent to prison in 1932. He would stay in one prison or another, including the infamous Alcatraz, until 1939.

MC Hammer

Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known by his stage name MC Hammer, was propelled to super stardom with his hit “U Can’t Touch This”. Unfortunately for Hammer, he lost the majority of his fortune due to his lavish lifestyle as well as lawsuits. At one point Hammer was 13 million dollars in debt and had to sell his mansion at a fraction of it’s original price. Hammer still owes over 600 thousand dollars to the IRS.

Even though paying taxes may be a pain, it’s a lot easier in the long run to get it out of the way than to face the IRS in court. Make sure you know the last day to file taxes and can make it to the mailbox on time.

(photo by World Economic Forum)

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