Tinseltown names and shames tax debtors
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Monday 16 April 2012
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.
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