Wesley Snipes Indicted for Tax Avoidance

Posted on 18. Oct, 2006 by in News, Taxes

wesleysnipes.jpgIt’s these sorts of stories that really make me angry. Most of us (myself included), try our hardest to engage in those activities that will result in the least amount of taxes. However, our reward for all this work is a tax savings of a couple hundred dollars (maybe thousands if you have a really good accountant. And why do we try so hard? Because we’re barely making enough to pay off a mortgage AND save for our kids’ college fund. Every dollar is precious.

So I see these stories of famous Hollywood actors like Wesley Snipes (who doesn’t love Blade) – who has enough money that he could just live of the interest (if he actually invested it instead of throwing it away on cars and alchohol) – and just want to smack them for being so greedy that they feel the need to use illegal tax schemes to avoid taxes. These are the people who should be paying taxes in my humble opinion! And if I strike it rich and make millions you can come after me for more taxes as well.

According to the story, the charges stem from a well-known but illegal scheme that asserts that U.S. citizens only have to pay taxes on income earned from foreign sources. The scheme purports that wages and other income earned in the U.S. aren’t taxable. The Internal Revenue Service and various courts have ruled that the argument is a misreading of the tax code.

It’s at this point that anyone with half a brain would ask themselves a few questions:

  1. Ummm… if the actual tax code says I don’t have to pay taxes, why are the rest of these 300 Million people being suckered in?
  2. Why is this shady-looking accountant only going to charge me $100 to file my enormous return? (this is true)
  3. Why do they keep calling this a “tax scheme“?

According to the Wall Street Journal, the “Justice Department is charging that Messrs. Snipes, Kahn and Rosile attempted to make it appear as if Mr. Snipes had no liability for federal income taxes. As part of the scheme, the defendants allegedly prepared and filed two amended federal income-tax returns for Mr. Snipes, fraudulently claiming refunds for 1996 and 1997 income taxes previously paid, totaling almost $12 million. The indictment also alleges that Mr. Snipes didn’t file his 1999 through 2004 federal income-tax returns.

Mr. Snipes is one of the more than 200 mostly high-wealth individuals who were part of Mr. Rosile’s and Mr. Kahn’s attempts to “help” American taxpayers argue that the tax system itself is a hoax, and that they didn’t have to pay taxes on income earned within the U.S. The Justice Department sued Mr. Rosile in 2002 and forced him to turn over a list of most of his clients.”

Wow. I just don’t know what do say. Except maybe that if you’re paying $12M in taxes, I don’t think you’re hurting for cash… so pay up!

7 Responses to “Wesley Snipes Indicted for Tax Avoidance”

  1. Kira

    18. Oct, 2006

    My boyfriend said when reading this that Wesley Snipes is also persona non grata in South Africa because he was traveling the world with a forged South African passport, evidently because he thought it was cool. It seems like celebrities fall into the trap of thinking that they don’t have to play by the rules that the rest of us do, pretty often.

  2. Kira

    18. Oct, 2006

    My boyfriend said when reading this that Wesley Snipes is also persona non grata in South Africa because he was traveling the world with a forged South African passport, evidently because he thought it was cool. It seems like celebrities fall into the trap of thinking that they don’t have to play by the rules that the rest of us do, pretty often.

  3. kraloyun

    19. Oct, 2006

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  4. kral oyun

    22. Oct, 2006

    These are the people who should be paying taxes in my humble opinion! And if I strike it rich and make millions you can come after me for more taxes as well.

  5. kral oyun

    28. Mar, 2007

    Im a big fan of Wesley Snipes.Thanks for article.

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