Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Celebrity Tax Liens All Too Common

Vanessa williams

Fifty-one year old singer-actress Vanessa William owes the federal government $369,249 on her 2011 earnings for which the IRS filed a federal tax lien. 

Although this could be a misunderstanding between notices and her advisers, it is serious.  Tax liens can be about income, property, or even estate taxes; and they are all about getting paid. 

Despite their high earnings, celebrities often find themselves in this situation as their tax bills slip through the cracks.  Lindsay Lohan’s missed bills lead to a $94,000 tax lien.  IRS tax liens cover all your property even that acquired after the lien is imposed.  The courts use it to establish priority in bankruptcy proceedings and real estate sales. 

Liens last ten years, and generally release automatically if the IRS has not refilled them.  Yet, it is better to get them removed sooner rather than later.

See Robert W. Wood, Vanessa Williams Slapped With Six Figure Tax Lien, Forbes, Aug. 29, 2014.


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