Celebrity Tax Tuesday - 4 Stars Who Flopped With the IRS

Celebrity Tax Tuesday

The financial lives of celebrities are complicated, often involving many different streams of income. Here are 5 celebrities who haven't been able to handle that and ran into trouble with the IRS themselves.


Nicolas Cage - Getty Images

Nicolas Cage - Getty Images

Nicolas Cage once owed the IRS $14 million after buying a castle, a pyramid tombstone, and a bunch of reptiles.

The national treasure he is, Nicolas Cage's lavish spending habits are famous. He owns a pyramid tombstone for himself in New Orleans, a castle in England, lots of reptiles, and once beat Leonardo DiCaprio in a bidding war over a $276,000 Tyrannosaurus skull, which he later had to return.

He may have not been able to afford it all. Cage admitted to owing $14 million to the IRS in 2010, but paid off more than $6 million of it at once in 2012. That might explain why he takes on almost any role he sees.


Martha Stewart - Getty Images

Martha Stewart - Getty Images

Martha Stewart claimed she didn't have to pay taxes on two homes because they were being renovated.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Martha Stewart went through an array of legal troubles, dodging taxes on New York real estate and being sentenced to five months in prison for involvement in an insider trading scheme (she also was sentenced to five months of house arrest and two years of probation).

"Although she conceded that she owned a large, shingled house and a guest cottage on Lily Pond Lane, in East Hampton, New York, and an apartment in Manhattan, she claimed that neither was a 'permanent place of abode' as defined by the tax law, because both were undergoing extensive renovations and were uninhabitable during the years in question, 1991 and 1992," wrote James B. Stewart (no relation) in the New Yorker.

The law didn't agree. She ended up paying $220,000 in property taxes and addition penalties to the state of New York.


Wesley Snipes - Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Wesley Snipes - Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Wesley Snipes spent nearly three years in prison for skipping out on tax bills.

Through his accountants, Snipes neglected to pay taxes between the years of 1999 and 2001. After a long legal battle, he ended up spending over two years in federal prison, being released in 2013. And the IRS still isn't through with him, alleging in 2015 that he owed an additional $17.5 million.

He's since made a meme out of the whole situation, dragging people on Twitter who attack him for not paying taxes.


Pamela Anderson - Getty Images / Venturelli

Pamela Anderson - Getty Images / Venturelli

Like many other celebrities, Pamela Anderson owed both the federal government and state of California.

In 2012, Pamela Anderson owed the federal government and state of California more that $371,000, according to TMZ. That followed an earlier tax lien of $1.7 million.

One piece of good news from her 2015 divorce, though, is that the tax code allows people to write off taxes in property divisions, a strategy Anderson was in a position to take advantage of, according to Forbes.