2012 Ends with Tax Bang for Some Celebrities
by Terri Eyden on
By Teresa Ambord
Here are just a few of the celebrities who are wrapping up their year mired in tax debt.
Pamela Anderson, of Baywatch and Dancing with the Stars, owes back taxes of about $370,000 related to 2011 income. Two liens have been filed against her, one courtesy of the IRS, in the amount of $259,395. The other is for $112,118 from the state of California.
This is a second round of tax trouble for Anderson, the first one occurring in 2009. Back then, her California tax debt landed her a spot on California's Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers list. So far, she hasn't made the 2012 list, but time will tell.
Her recent stint on Dancing with the Stars didn't go well for her – she was the first one to bite the dust. In the last few years, Dancing with the Stars seems to have been a magnet for famous tax delinquents, including Anderson, actress Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), singer Aaron Carter, actress Shannen Doherty, Green Bay Packer wide receiver Donald Driver, race car driver Helio Castroneves, and others.
Gary Busey, of Point Break and a participant on Celebrity Apprentice, recently survived bankruptcy, clearing more than $57,000 in debts owed to creditors. But that pales in comparison to the nearly half a million ($451,297.33 to be exact) he owes in back state and federal taxes. When reporters asked him to comment about his debt he told them, "When you have too much, it's a good feeling to let go. My new hobby is just breaking even."
O.J. Simpson's various troubles seem to continue unchecked. He's in a Nevada prison now for kidnapping, armed robbery, and other charges from a 2007 incident in Las Vegas. And of course, in spite of his acquittal in the mid-90s, he lives under the shadow of suspicion surrounding the still-unsolved murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. Now he can add tax debt to his list of problems. By some estimates, his net worth is $750,000, but he owes the IRS $179,435. This debt accumulated from tax years 2007 to 2010 while he has been incarcerated at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada.
Simpson is serving a minimum of nine years without parole, out of a thirty-three-year sentence. There is one bright spot for him. A Nevada judge agreed in October 2012 to reopen the armed robbery and kidnapping case against him to determine if his conviction resulted from bad representation.
Bringing up the rear in terms of tax dollars owed is Britney Spears and her ex-husband Kevin Federline, who owe more than $37,000 to the state of California. Spears' representatives say the tax lien was filed in error. Compared to her 2012 earnings of $58 million, this is about two days of work. Spears is contesting the lien.