8 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Got Way More Behind on Their Taxes Than You

The problem is, the IRS finds it much harder to overlook a couple million
8 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Got Way More Behind on Their Taxes Than You

The common wisdom tells you, don't fuck with the IRS. Its darkly funny, but not surprising that perhaps the branch of our government that most successfully brings people to justice is the one based around people owing the government money. 

Time has shown, too, that even people with considerable sway, infamy or bulletproof celebrity status cant seem to grease their way out of IRS charges. If they can get Al Capone, yes, they can probably get Wesley Snipes, too. Snipes might be the celebrity, outside of Nicolas Cage, with tax evasion most closely tied to common knowledge, but theyre far from the only celebrities to get in trouble with the long arm of the nations cash register.

Here are eight more celebs you might not have known had tax trouble…

Willie Nelson

Minette Layne

No, thats not the reason he cant afford a new guitar. Thats a sentimental thing. 1990 was a good year for me personally, what with being born and all, but it was a pretty unpleasant one for Willie Nelson. The IRS accused him of hiding income and wanted him to pay up the balance, to the tune of $32 million. They seized some of his assets, including master recordings, but left Nelson to come up with the rest, which he did through a method that only really works if youre a hugely successful music artist: releasing an album called The IRS Tapes.

Dionne Warwick

Carl Lender

Another music legend that found themselves on the wrong end of the economic chopping block was Dionne Warwick. You likely know her best through “Say A Little Prayer for You,” goodwill she needed repaid when the IRS got through with her. Warwick actually had to declare bankruptcy after finding out she was $10 million in the hole to the IRS in unpaid taxes. She claims it was due to mismanagement of money in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which, yeah, those were good years to be reckless with your money.

Chuck Berry

Public Domain

Chuck Berry, pioneer and arguable inventor of rock and roll, also pioneered rock stars being less than upfront about their earnings. He was famous for insisting on cash payments for his shows, which isnt something you want to be famous for unless you want to be audited posthaste. Its one thing when its coffeeshop tips, its another when its the income from a highly publicized nationwide tour. Berry actually received prison time for the tax evasion, together with filing false returns.

Val Kilmer

Keith Hinkle

Look, if you pay your taxes, how are you going to have any money left over for those kind of hats and fine silk scarves? Val Kilmer found himself in the IRS crosshairs more than once. He ended up on the hook for two separate unpaid debts. He paid off the first $538,000 debt only to be immediately hit with a second request for almost the same amount for the next batch of tardy taxes theyd discovered. Rough couple years.

Lionel Messi

Кирилл Венедиктов

Turns out that other countries tax agencies are similarly serious about getting their fucking money, as discovered by all-time soccer superstar Lionel Messi. He was staring at a 21-month prison sentence, where he would no doubt be envying the amount of running around he used to take for granted. He did pay off his outstanding balance of $285,000, however, so he won't have to use a knotted blanket to keep his soccer skills sharp.

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