Tax avoidance has been a hot topic since the G20 summit. Many different governments have come out making statements on their revitalized stance against tax crime. Surprisingly, criminals are not always the stereotypical businessmen, many celebrities have been caught for committing tax fraud.
The first on our list was certainly the most shocking for many, primarily because of her wholesome image. Martha Stewart made a fortune for her lifestyle and home-cooking show. Stewart was everyone’s favorite TV personality, but not only was she charged with tax evasion to the sum of $220,000 but she was also charged with insider trading. She was not convicted of the crime, however she was sentenced to 18 months in prison for obstruction of justice.
Another famous tax evader isn’t famous for his wholesome image, it’s the opposite. Marc Anthony gained his celebrity status as a singer in and additionally for his marriage to A-list celeb, Jennifer Lopez.
A little known fact about Anthony is that he failed to pay his taxes for 4 entire years from 2000 until 2004. He had to pay a backlog of $2.5 million and the only reason he was not sentenced to any jail time was that an accountant had prepared his tax return forms but did not file them.
Action star Wesley Snipes was released from prison this year after being convicted for tax evasion in 2010. He was found to be guilty of owing the government $7 million from 1991-2001.
Soon after he was sentenced, his appeal was denied and was obligated to carry out his three year sentence. He was released several months prior to his set date and was placed under house arrest.
Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage was charged for tax evasion not once, but two times. The first time he was charged was in 2007 for ‘Deducting Personal Expenses’ worth $600,000. This is relatively harmless compared to his following crime of failing to pay taxes on two of his films, ‘Ghost Rider’ and ‘Grindhouse’ in 2009. The IRS charged a $6.2 million fee in back taxes.
In order to pay this fee he had to give up homes in several different States in the US.
You may not know this man’s name, but you will know the name of the empire he built. Warner is credited for the 90’s children’s toy phenomenon known as the ‘Beanie Babies’.
Ty Warner made billions at the peak of ‘Beanie Babies’ popularity and his company is still a producer of stuffed animals till today.
This past week he has been charged with tax evasion for the year 2002 and will have to pay a staggering $53.6 million in penalties.