Three artists sing the tax-trouble blues

Just a couple of years ago Aretha Franklin was hit with delinquent state and federal tax bills (a California lien in the amount of $14,798, and a federal lien for $175,260 dating back to 2006). Those tax debts were paid. About the same time, she almost lost her Michigan mansion overlooking the Detroit Golf Club to foreclosure.

Now the state of Michigan says she owes $11,076 in back taxes. The lien was filed on March 23 with the Oakland County Register of Deeds for income taxes assessed on December 11, 2009. Franklin also owes $33,729 in delinquent property taxes on her home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, valued at $1.8 million.
 
Franklin’s financial woes have drawn a lot of attention in recent years, but The Detroit News reported that she was able to pay off the previous debts. She told reporters that this tax mishap was an oversight.
 
"It is always my intentions to pay my taxes on time and, generally, most times I always do," she said. "However, I have been traveling a lot lately and in concert, and sometimes when you're traveling it becomes a little difficult. It will be taken care of as soon as I return home."
 
Folk legend Judy Collins, 71, is in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service and the state of New York over delinquent taxes.
 
On April 27, the IRS hit her with a lien for $116,780. And, the state of New York filed a tax warrant in the amount of $43,072 on November 7, 2009 with the New York County Clerk.
 
Collins became famous in the 1960s and 1970s for such hits as “Send in the Clowns,” “Both Sides Now,” and “Amazing Grace.”
 
Just over a year ago, Toni Braxton and her husband Keirston Lewis had a lien filed against them by the state of California in the amount of $79,315. Now the IRS is zinging the couple for $396,330. The lien was filed in Whitfield County Georgia Superior Court, and applies to tax years 2007 and 2008.
 
The rhythm and blues singer (most famous for “Un-break My Heart”) and her husband filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1998.
 
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