By US Daily Review Staff. Source: Tax Resolution Services
What do Rihanna, Wesley Snipes, Lindsay Lohan, Ozzy Osbourne, and Lionel Richie all have in common? No, they are not pooling their talents on a new album to raise money and awareness for starving children in third-world countries. Give up? They are all severely in debt to the Internal Revenue Service for a variety of reasons. This just goes to show that, while celebrities may get the red-carpet treatment most places they go, when it comes to dealing with the IRS, they are just regular old American citizens.
“The IRS doesn’t care whether you’re some A-list celeb or John Q. Public,” says Tax Resolution Services, Co., founder and CEO Michael Rozbruch. “The IRS is far and away the most ruthless collection agency on the planet, and if you owe money—especially if you owe a lot of money, as most of these celebrities do—they will come after you hard and penalize you to the fullest extent they can.”
Wesley Snipes, who’s starred in countless Hollywood blockbuster movies, can certainly attest to that statement. Snipes failed to file income tax returns for years and owed approximately $17 million to the IRS, for which he is currently serving a three-year jail sentence, which he started in December 2010. The latest celebrity to make headlines for tax problems is pop star Rihanna, who is suing her former accountant for a litany of claims. The busy singer trusted that her accounting firm, Berdon, was taking care of her while she was out on tour and in the studio over the last several years, but now she is undergoing a costly audit for her returns from 2008-2010; Rihanna is also suing her former accountant for defrauding her by charging excessive commissions, giving her bad financial advice, and taking four times as much profit from her most recent tour. Rihanna is a prime example of why many celebrities can find themselves in the doghouse with the IRS. Unfortunately the IRS could care less that her advisors, if true, were the cause of her delinquency.
“What often happens is that celebrities who make enough money to hire these big accounting firms to keep track of and manage all their money and implicitly trust that the firms have their best interests at heart,” says Rozbruch”. Unfortunately, sometimes these firms get greedy and think they can pull a fast one behind their client’s back, and ultimately it’s the client who pays the harshest price. For someone like Rihanna, I would recommend to her the same thing I would recommend to anyone: If you have to face an audit with the IRS or hope to negotiate a settlement, your best bet is to seek professional, trusted, legitimate representation because if they think they’re going to get a slap on the wrist just for being a celebrity, they’ve got another thing coming.