Is there a memo circulating around Hollywood that says celebrities don't have to pay their taxes? If so, a countless number of them are getting a hold of it, and taking it to heart.
On June 29, 2012, Lauryn Hill pleaded guilty to not paying federal taxes. The amount is estimated to be around $1.5 million over a period of three years, beginning in 2005 through 2007. She faces a maximum one-year sentence on each of the three counts.
In July, 2011, rapper Ja Rule was sentenced to 28 months in prison for failure to file tax returns. He blamed his financial troubles on a combination of youthful inexperience, bad advice and an inability to manage fame and fortune.
In November, 2011, actor Westley Snipes turned himself in to a Florida prison, to begin serving a three-year sentence for failing to pay his taxes. Snipes was convicted in 2008 on three counts of “willful failure to file tax returns” from 1999 through 2001.
The above named celebrities are just a handful of some of the most recent cases. But, the list here goes on and on.
Actor Chris Tucker is another celebrity who TMZ reports has a long history of tax troubles. Earlier this year he joked during a stand up comedy show in Oakland, CA saying it was all Westley Snipe's fault for relaying a message that he didn't have to pay.
In September, 2006, R&B singer Ronald Isley was sentenced to three years and one month in prison. He was convicted in 2005 on five counts of tax evasion, and one count of willful failure to file a tax return. The 72-year-old legendary singer has since been released from prison and is said to be in good health.
You may recall back in 1996, rapper MC Hammer, who is famous for his hit single “U Can't Touch This,” had a major downfall for tax evasion. It was reported in December 2011 that the government was still after him for an estimated figure in the range of $800,000.
Kelis, known for her 2004 hit “Milkshake” and her marriage to rapper Nas, is one the latest celebrities to be hit by the IRS. News began to circulate in early July, 2012 that she owes a tax lien of $330,426.
Somebody please tell these celebrities that whatever memo they may have received about not having to pay taxes is a hoax. In reality, Uncle Sam wants his money, and each and everyone's taxes MUST be paid.