What is more annoying than a person who makes $10 million a year to look hot and be pampered? If you said a person who doesn't pay the portion of that $10 million to the government that they owe, then you get today's prize.
There is just not much sympathy for wealthy people who will not pay their taxes. Sorry. We all live in this society and we all have to pay up. If you make $3 million and you have to lose $1 million to Uncle Sam, you still have $2 million left to buy your Birkin bag and pay your security detail.
It always seems (surprise, surprise) like it's the sleaziest of the quasi-celebs who get in trouble for tax evasion, too. Here are five of the most public celebrity tax dodgers:
- Joe Francis: It's bad enough that this sleaze-ball's claim to fame is that he got a bunch of drunk young girls to flash him, but the pornographer was also indicted in 2007 for filing nearly $20 million in fraudulent tax deductions. He got off with a $250,000 plea deal, but we all know he's the lowest of the low.
- Annie Leibovitz: She took some of the most iconic images in history in her career as a photographer, including the pregnant nude shot of Demi Moore for Vanity Fair. But after borrowing $24 million from a private equity firm to pay off some of her $15.5 million in debt that came from excess spending and home renovations, she almost had to sell off the rights to all of her work to pay off her debtors. Lucky for her, she found a way to keep the rights and restructure her debt. But I still kind of think she should have lost them.
- Val Kilmer: He has a $500,000 lien against his New Mexico home for unpaid 2008 taxes. In order to pay off his debts, Kilmer dropped the price on his house more than $10 million.
- Willie Nelson: In 1990 Nelson was fined for $16 million in unpaid taxes. That's a whole lotta grass, Willie. He had to let the government auction off his belongings, including his country club, memorabilia, and recording studio. He also held "benefit" concerts and auctions. For himself.
- Richard Hatch: This guy I kind of feel for. He wasn't super loaded. It was only $1 million. I can see why you might want to keep it. Hatch spent three years in prison for trying to keep his prize money in 2006 and he still owes about $1.7 million in back taxes.
Does anyone else think it's odd that the person who had the least also lost the most and served the most time? What a crock! In order to make up for the disparity, all other celebs who cross the IRS should be waterboarded every day for a year. Sound good?
What do you think of tax dodgers?
Image via thetripwirenyc/Flickr