Fame and Tax Fraud: Celebrities Who Tried to Rip Off Uncle Sam

It was discovered today by Bossip that Mary J. Blige owes over $1 million in back taxes. Let's take a look at other celebrities who have tried (and failed) to rip off the IRS.

Uncle Sam has not been kind to Mary J. Blige over the years.

It was discovered today by Bossip that the singer owes over $1 million in back taxes, adding to a mountain of financial issues that have continued to plague the singer over the years. In 2013, Blige was slapped with a tax lien of over $900,000 from New Jersey, along with an additional $3.4 million in federal back taxes. She also owed an alleged $6 million to her ex-husband in 2016 following their divorce filing.

Rest assured, Mary is not alone, like, at all. Celebrities have always "forgotten" to pay Uncle Sam, and some have even been to jail or gone bankrupt as a result. These are the highest celebrity debts owed to the IRS, and how they paid them off (or didn't.)

Willie Nelson

In 1990, the IRS seized Nelson's assets for a whopping $32 million owed in taxes. Uncle Sam cleared out the country singer's estate, including properties he owned in six states, to make up for the damages. Even then, Nelson still owed $16.7 million. $10 million of which was solely interest and penalty fees. In his 2015 autobiography, Nelson wrote that the ordeal was due to bad advice and "mismanagement" from lousy accountants. He also wrote about two days of questioning with IRS agents in Austin; the country singer purposefully parked his Honeysuckle Rose II bus outside the offices to entice fans to come say hello. He would spend lunches signing autographs for both lurking fans and IRS clerks. When all was said and done, Nelson settled with the agency for $9 million. He then poked fun at himself in a hilarious H&R commercial.

R. Kelly

While this disgraced pedophile and degenerate sh*t stain has more on his plate than tax fraud, the singer is still facing charges from $20 million owed to the IRS from 2005. In his 19-minute song "I Admit," he addressed that he still hasn't even come close to paying the money off, since he owes additional money for child support, unpaid rent, and now legal fees. He'll probably never be able to pay any of it off, considering he's already broke.

Wesley Snipes

The Blade actor ended up serving a three-year sentence for attempting to extort the IRS for a $12 million refund. Instead, the IRS charged him with three counts of failing to file a tax return, sending him to the slammer in December 2010.

Nicolas Cage

The eclectic star of Bangkok Dangerous owed upwards of $14 million to the IRS in 2010. "Over the course of my career I have paid at least $70 million in taxes," The Ghost Rider said. "Unfortunately, due to a recent legal situation, another approximate $14 million is owed to the IRS." The Wicker Man paid it off though, settling for $6.25 million in 2012. It's not surprising he owed a massive debt, considering the strange purchases he's historically made, like a $3.4 million haunted mansion in New Orleans or a $3 million deserted island.


As the rapper served a sexual battery sentence for raping his hairdresser, it was discovered that he was trying to scam the IRS, as well. He was additionally convicted of avoiding payment of $271,000 in taxes, which resulted in a separate year-long sentence. In 2017, Louisiana claimed that the rapper still owed over $2.9 million in back taxes, racking his total tab up to $3.2 million. Ouch.

Lil Wayne

The rapper was slapped with a massive bill for unpaid taxes up to $7 million in both 2002 and 2009. Jay-Z allegedly helped him break even before the IRS seized his Miami mansion. "He's a real friend, y'all," Weezy said.

Donald Trump

In addition to raping women and supporting white supremacy, the commander-in-queef has been incredibly resistant to sharing his tax information, but many publications have taken the liberty of tallying up his bill. According to Fortune, Trump most likely owes around $700,000 to the IRS from failed business ventures. While this is an estimation, it confirms Trump to be a total piece of sh*t.

Music Features

On This Day: Shakira Liberated Everyone's “She Wolf”

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

By Fabio Alexx

11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.

"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."

Shakira - She Wolf

Keep Reading Show less