Tinseltown names and shames tax debtors


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The Independent US

As millions of ordinary Americans raced to file their annual tax returns by tomorrow's deadline, the US authorities revealed the names of the rich and famous who have fallen behind on their payments to government – and it contains several big stars from music and acting.

The long-running tax problems of the former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson remain unresolved, it is clear from a list of the 500 Californians who owe the most in back taxes to the state.

And the singer Lionel Richie, too, is facing an embarrassing showdown with the federal government's Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is claiming $1.13m (£713,000) in back payments and threatening to seize some of his assets to claw the money from him.

However, as the former Commodores singer is worth an estimated $200m, the revelations about his tax problems are likely to be more of a publicity headache than a financial one – particularly now that he is back at the top the US charts with an album of collaborations with country music artists.

As for Anderson, her inclusion on California's "name and shame" list again this year puts her in a class of what Tinseltown's leading newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, calls "tax deadbeats". She owes $524,241.