What is it with celebrities and the IRS? Seems like every time we turn around, another boldface name has run into trouble with the taxman. Most recently, Kirstie Alley was hit with a $41,395 bill, including interest and fees, for back taxes on her $1.73 million Florida mansion, but Al Pacino, Snoop Dogg and Forest Whitaker have also recently been in hot water with Uncle Sam.
PHOTO GALLERY: 10 Celebrities Who Ran Into Tax Trouble with the IRS
It is a common belief that the Internal Revenue Service deliberately targets celebrities in order to keep the rest of us in line. (The IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment.) And there may be a few legitimate reasons why celebrities just can’t seem to pay (or even file) their taxes. Surrounded by agents, managers and accountants, celebrities who have made piles of money fast sometimes don’t keep a close enough watch on their handlers. Other celebrity tax “mistakes” are just like the knuckle-headed errors we make — failing to file an extension, mixing up personal and corporate expenses, forgetting to include all sources of income. It may actually be harder for A-listers to figure out what they owe, given the erratic nature of their pay cycles and big windfalls.
Click here for a photo gallery on 10 rich and famous taxpayers who ran into trouble with the IRS.
A version of this article originally ran on April 8, 2011.