Sherri Gastelum the CEO of Platinum Tax Defenders Reports on Lauryn Hill and Mary Estelle Curran Tax Issues and Applications for Taxpayers
Sherri Gastelum: Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill is not the only celebrity to be hit with an IRS bill for taxes, according to a May 7, 2013 CNBC report (“Is Lauryn Hill Being Singled Out Among Tax Evaders?”), though she is one of the few openly comparing taxes to slavery, according to a May 7, 2013 Accounting Today article (“Fugees Singer Lauryn Hill Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion”). Platinum Tax Defenders reports on recent high-profile IRS action, and suggests that taxpayers rethink procrastination on back taxes or obtaining tax relief agreements.
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) May 10, 2013
What the IRS does and doesn’t care about is certainly of interest to most Americans, never more so than on or before April 15th of any given year. Obviously, according to a May 7, 2013 article by Accounting Today (“Fugees Singer Lauryn Hill Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion”accountingtoday.com/news/Fugees-Singer-Lauryn-Hill-Sentenced-Prison-Tax-Evasion-66627-1.html), the IRS still cares about tax avoidance by high-income earners. One of Hill’s defenses against filing tax returns, according to Accounting Today, seems to be that she didn’t understand the nature of how the system worked: “I was put into a system I didn’t know the nature of”. (For more details on the legal side, see US v. Lauryn N. Hill, United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Case Number 2011R01339.) Platinum Tax Defenders suggests that taxpayers confused about what is and isn’t important to the IRS gain knowledge from a tax resolution service, or apply for tax relief.
Ignorance was not the only thing that Lauryn Hill claimed, again according to Accounting Today. She also likened the tax system to slavery, saying that her sales of “50 million units” that resulted in a tax bill was akin to human ownership (“If that’s not likened to slavery, I don’t know what is.”) Many taxpayers may feel the same, but dislike didn’t stop Hill from being given three months of prison and then house arrest, for her failure to report an income of over $2 million.
Per Accounting Today, Lauryn Hill did go to the effort of setting up four S corporations. Apparently, she got behind in filing for taxes on years 2005 through 2009, for an income mostly due to royalties, that came to $2.3 million. Judge Madeleine Cox Arleo ordered Hill to pay $60,000 as a fine, full “restitution to the IRS”, along with interest and penalties.
According to an attorney quoted in a CNBC report on May 7, 2013 (“Is Lauryn Hill Being Singled Out Among Tax Evaders?”cnbc.com/id/100715823), the sentence may have been increased because of Hill’s celebrity status. Attorney Roy Black of Florida, who represented Mary Estelle Curran in her $40 million dollar offshore tax evasion, says that “prosecutors and the IRS will deny it”, but that “they like high-profile cases” – simply for the sake of sending a message. (See US v. Mary Estelle Curran, 12-cr-80206, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida)
Platinum Tax Defenders agrees that the IRS does regularly send powerful messages about tax evasion: don’t do it. Lauryn Hill is not the only celebrity to come under the power of the tax law in recent years — the CNBC article also mentioned Wesley Snipes and Nicholas Cage. Neither did Mary Estelle Curran entirely escape from penalties (which amounted to over $21 million plus penalties), though she apparently argued that the offshore accounts were set up in her husband’s name.
As if those cases weren’t enough to encourage taxpayers to obtain back tax help with a tax resolution office, or just a tax relief agreement, there is always the January 17, 2013 Accounting Web article on OJ Simpson tax woes (“O.J. Simpson Hit with Tax Debt and Foreclosure”). The tax lien for his 2011 income alone came to over $17,000, along with a nearly $180,000 bill for income made between 2007 and 2010. Prison time does not deter the IRS from placing property liens or assigning penalties and interest to unpaid bills, either to celebrities or to everyday taxpayers. Nor does prison time stop states from wanting payment, since California assessed over $318,000 dollars’ worth of payment that it requires from Simpson.
Platinum Tax Defenders, begun by CEO Sherri Gastelum, is in operation with a team of 10 dedicated professionals. At least one tax attorney heads the list of specialists, along with a fully qualified CPA, and an ex-IRS agent. Sherri Gastelum has had over 20 years’ experience in simplifying corporate, personal, and business tax issues. Taxpayers of every bracket can have a free conference call with a tax specialist, for up to 45 minutes, in which specific tips can be given on how to deal with IRS issues.
For more information from Platinum Tax Defenders on tax-related issues, call 1-877-668-1807 or send an email to info(at)tax-resolution(dot)me.
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