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The IRS Says ‘Hello’ to Lionel Richie Lionel Richie is one of the most successful musicians of all time. Not only does he have multiple Grammy Awards, but he’s also one of the world’s most best-selling artists. So, when someone with Richie’s credentials gets in trouble with the IRS, the rest of us can’t help but raise an eyebrow. In 2012, the IRS placed a tax lien on Richie’s Beverly Hills estate for $1.1 million. The lien was in response to unpaid income taxes in 2010. Though Richie has been consistently employed in Hollywood and has a number of projects in the works — not to mention the royalties he earns from his many hits in the 1980’s — he still managed to find himself with a huge IRS debt. So, why was that? Why does it seem that many wealthy celebrities go head to head with the IRS? Well, there are two primary answers. Most commonly, celebrities hire the wrong accountants or other financial professionals. This was what happened in Richie’s case; he was working with the wrong crowd. In response to the tax lien, Richie told the media, “I was recently made aware of the situation by my new team, and it’s being handled immediately.” Most celebs aren’t going out of their way to not pay their taxes (though there are some who deliberately choose to ignore the law). They hire accountants and wealth managers to take care of it all for them. Unfortunately, like so many of us, celebs don’t have time to focus on all the details of who they’re hiring or who is ultimately preparing their taxes.
Plus, there are some “accountants”who are more than happy to take advantage of celebrities and their wealth. These are people who just don’t put in any effort for their clients and basically take the money and run. Of course, the IRS isn’t interested in excuses, which is why they put a $1.1 million tax lien on Richie’s home. Hiring a competent and experienced accountant can change that. They’re going to do things right to make sure their clients avoid audits, tax liens, and other issues. Once Richie was made aware of the situation, he worked with his new accountant and resolved the situation.
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