Chris Tucker just got a bill from the cash-strapped state of California for $3,594,409. A lien was filed against him in Sacramento County Court on June 24th. Thirty-seven year old Tucker is a native of Atlanta. He has appeared in movies including the “Rush Hour” trilogy, “Dead Presidents,” and “Money Talks.”
Other celebrities in debt to California for back taxes include:
- Rapper Snoop Dogg - real name is Calvin Broadus - who owes the state $284,053.59 in unpaid taxes.
- Burt Reynolds - name appears on the delinquent list as owing $225,000 from tax obligations way back in the 90s. But his spokesman, Jeffrey Lane, told reporters at the Associated Press that Reynolds paid his tax bill in the 90s and his name should be taken off the delinquent tax rolls.
- Dionne Warwick - owed California $2.7 million in taxes (as of 2007). To her credit, she has been cooperative with tax authorities as she makes a real effort to pay down her debt through a payment agreement with California’s Franchise Tax Board. Two years ago, her representative told reporters that her tax dilemma was the result of bad guidance from previous business advisers. "She and her current business management team are now working with the state of California to resolve and settle the matter with the FTB."
- Comedian Sinbad - owes California $2.5 million. He is a resident of Oak Park Illinois.
Other California tax issues involving celebrities:
- Until recently, O.J. Simpson’s name has been on the delinquent list. It’s not clear whether Simpson has extinguished his debt through payment or if California authorities have written off the amount because of his extended incarceration.
- The Ray of Light Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created by Madonna to benefit Malawi fell under the scrutiny of the California Attorney General earlier this year. Widespread media coverage praised Madonna for donating $2.6 million in royalties from her children’s books to the organization. But…tax forms filed by the Ray of Light Foundation showed zero dollars contributed by the celebrity.
With California in a serious budget crisis, Governor Schwarzenegger may be stepping up the threat of public humiliation to get people - especially those who work in the entertainment industry - to pay up. Every year the state publishes a list of the 250 worst tax scofflaws in the state. Before the list goes public, those whose names will appear are notified, giving them the opportunity to settle their debt and have their names removed. This year, 26 paid up before the posting of the list, bringing in delinquent taxes of about $300,000. Collectively those on the list owe $143 million in back taxes.