Taxing situation

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Why don’t celebrities pay their taxes? I, too, would like to keep all of my money, but I know that the IRS would not be happy and I soon would incur the wrath of the taxman.

The latest celeb not to pay up on time is Lauryn Hill. Girl, is you crazy? You can’t earn money and not give your portion to Uncle Sam. The eight-time Grammy Award winner and South Orange, N.J., resident was charged last week with willfully failing to file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

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Federal prosecutors said she didn’t pay taxes on more than $1.5 million earned in 2005, 2006 and 2007 from recording and film royalties. She said in her online post that she explained herself when she was questioned by authorities about her failure to pay taxes. “My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes,” she wrote. “This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.”

Huh, sounds like Hill has been “miseducated.” As you can see Miss Hill, these people don’t play. They will keep your business all up in the news.

I was shocked when I read who else was evading the tax man, Lil Wayne had an IRS lien filed with Miami Dade County in late March 2011. The lien noted that Lil Wayne had unpaid income taxes amounting to $3,351,078 for 2008 and $2,258,956 for 2009. He must be too busy getting tattoos.

Also on the list of tax scofflaws, Forest Whitaker, say it isn’t so. Who are these people’s managers? It has been reported that actor Whitaker was hit with a large tax bill last year, after failing to pay $185,000 he owed to the IRS. The tax collectors in the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds cited Whitaker and filed a lien for the balance.

In defense of these tax evaders I know when you get some of your checks that many times the taxes are not taken out. That is no excuse, you must file your taxes each and every year and you need tax shelters. And one of my favorite comedians and actors Chris Tucker had a tax lien filed against him in the state of Georgia earlier this year for $592,594.08, plus $11,571,909.26 from the federal government for taxes owed in 2001, 2002 and 2004 through 2006.

Are you kidding me Chris? Didn’t you guys read about Wesley Snipes? He is doing three years in a minimum security prison in the northwest Pennsylvania town of Lewis Run, reportedly a far cry from the ruthless lockups Snipes encountered in “Undisputed” and “Brooklyn’s Finest.” The facility does not even have a fence around its perimeter. Snipes and his 300 nonviolent roommates live in barracks that feature two-man rooms. The “Blade” star was convicted in 2008 on three misdemeanor counts for willfully failing to file federal tax returns from 1999-2001. During the three-year period, Snipes cheated the government out of $7 million, reports The New York Daily News.

Pay your taxes people.

(Email the columnist at deb­bienorrell@aol.com)

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