Sinbad's Mountain of Tax Debt: It Ain't So Funny

By Teresa Ambord
 
For comedian Sinbad – real name David Adkins – life hasn't been all that fun for the last several years. Right now he's in debt to the tune of nearly $11 million. Of this amount, more than $8 million is owed to the IRS and another $2.3 million to the state of California. Now he's filing bankruptcy, for the second time. 
 
Adkins' federal tax debt relates to income earned in 1998 through 2006. That's in addition to his state tax debt and other federal debt for the years 2009 through 2012. His other debts include about $375,000 to American Express and over $32,000 to Bank of America.
 
The fifty-six-year-old comedian reports assets of roughly $131,000. According to court documents, he pulls down about $16,000 a month. That's not a bad income for most people. But given his tax situation, it looks like it will take a financial miracle for him to dig himself out from under his mountain of debt. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic, telling talk show host Oprah Winfrey he will eventually rebound. "It's never over. There is no one defining moment that kills you or makes you," he said.
 
Was he a spend thrift? He told Winfrey he didn't get to this point by living an extravagant life. "I didn't buy Bentleys. I didn't live large. I invested in me. I invested in a lot of other people. I would not change it; I would not go back." 
 
His possessions include:
  • 2007 BMW 750i
  • 2006 VW Beetle
  • 2010 Ford F150
  • 2010 Lincoln Navigator
  • $5,000 in-home office equipment
  • Two hundred copies of Sinbad's Guide to Life (Because I Know Everything), selling used for $0.01 to $3.99 on Amazon
Back in 2009, Adkins filed for bankruptcy the first time, however, his case was dismissed when it was determined he lacked the right documents. Now he's taking another stab at it, having recently filed for Chapter 13 to try to get some measure of relief.
 
Sinbad appeared in the movies Houseguest and Jingle All the Way, TV movies, and a season of Celebrity Apprentice
 
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