Is Dancing with the Stars becoming a favorite target of the Internal Revenue Service? First it was racecar driver Helio Castroneves, who with partner Julianne Hough, won the DWTS competition in 2007. Now it is 21 year old pop star, Aaron Carter, brother of Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter.
On November 16, the Internal Revenue Service filed a lien against Carter in the Los Angeles Superior Court, in the amount of $1,010,635. Of that, $965,285 relates to income earned in tax year 2003. The balance is taxes on income earned in 2006.
Carter's career began as the lead singer of an alternative music band called Dead End. Later he left the band to pursue pop music. In 1997, his big break came when he performed with his brother Nick Carter at a Backstreet Boys concert in Germany.
After the IRS lien was filed, Carter's manager, Johnny Wright came to his defense, telling Entertainment Tonight, "It is unfortunate that while Aaron was a minor, his finances were grossly mismanaged by his previous team which has lead to the current situation of which he was unaware of until today. Aaron is working with a new team to take appropriate actions towards speedy resolution of the matter and looks forward to putting this behind him and moving forward with the next stage of his music career."
Blaming the manager or the accountant is almost becoming expected, it seems, among celebrities who are hit with back taxes. Nicolas Cage, Wesley Snipes, Joe Francis, among others have all been spotlighted by the IRS for unpaid taxes, claimed innocence, and tried to blame their advisors. Some get more sympathy from the media than others.
It remains to be seen how Carter will fare in public opinion. The media has already been hard on him, labeling him a cry baby. This came after the dancer/singer broke into tears onscreen when Dancing with the Stars judges criticized him harshly.
On the other hand, with a little luck, Carter might be able to do as his fellow DWTS participant did. That is... win against the IRS.
You may remember that earlier this year, 33-year-old Castroneves, his sister, and his attorney were charged with evading income taxes on more than $5.5 million in fees earned by racing and for the use of the Castroneves name in endorsements. Castroneves maintained that he had parked the money in a tax shelter over which he had no control. The IRS, in a lengthy trial, sought to prove that the opposite was true, and that Castroneves had access to the money for several years. In the end, with a wide audience of supporters, Castroneves was cleared of the charges and allowed to return to his racing career.
Related news: Castroneves Tax Trial Diary