Rich, famous and tussling with the taxman

Taxes » Tax Law » Rich, Famous And Tussling With The Taxman

Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes © PR Photos

The star: The versatile screen star may be best known for the "Blade" horror trilogy, but his resume includes performances in drama ("Jungle Fever"), comedy ("White Men Can't Jump") and action films ("Passenger 57").

Amount owed: It's complicated.

What happened: Whether you chalk it up to bad advice or bad judgment, the fact remains that Snipes declared himself a "nontaxpayer" to the IRS  and stopped paying income tax in 1998. Government prosecutors say Snipes failed to pay $15 million in taxes and tried to obtain $11.3 million in fraudulent tax refunds in 1996 and 1997.

The outcome: Snipes was found guilty in 2008 on misdemeanor charges of willful failure to file income taxes for 1999, 2000 and 2001 but was acquitted of felony tax fraud and conspiracy charges. He began serving a three-year prison sentence in December 2010 and was released from prison in April 2013. Snipes has at least one fellow actor in his corner: Sylvester Stallone reportedly welcomed him back to Hollywood with a role in his upcoming "Expendables" sequel.


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