Golden Tax Relief February 2018

CELEBRITY TAX EVASION: WILLIE NELSON Bogus Tax Haven Cost Willie Everything

HAVE A LAUGH When the math was all said and done, the IRS found Nelson owed more than $6 million in back taxes and slapped him with an additional $10 million in interest and underpayment penalties. Not even a multimillion-dollar performing artist has that kind of cash just lying around, There’s no question: Willie Nelson is one of a kind. His unique blend of country, folk, and easy-listening music has pulled in listeners from all walks of life and netted Nelson quite a lot of money. Unfortunately, while he was setting records on the billboard charts, he was also racking up one of the largest individual tax debts in the country. Like so many celebrities, Nelson is a victim of bad advice and wishful thinking. His accounting firm sold the country-western star on some bogus tax shelters, and it didn’t take the feds long to catch on. In 1984, the IRS began investigating the substantial deductions Nelson had been claiming on his returns and disallowed them.

so Nelson made his first smart move. He hired tax professionals to negotiate his case with the IRS. Nelson got the $10 million fee waived, but lacked the liquid assets to pay off the original debt. In 1990, the repo men came knocking. It’s one thing to lose your house; Nelson lost six. In fact, the one piece of property he managed to hold on to was his guitar, “Trigger,” which he had smuggled out of the house in anticipation of the IRS raid. After losing everything, Nelson cut one of the most unique deals in IRS history. He agreed to release an album, dubbed “The IRS Tapes,” and use the revenue to pay off his debt. With Trigger by his side, he recorded his 43rd studio album, bluntly titled “Who Will Buy My Memories.” Fans took it upon themselves to bail their idol out, buying the album en masse.

Most of us don’t have legions of fans to call on when the IRS comes knocking. Usually, when our property gets seized, that’s it. We have no choice but to keep truckin’ with what we have left. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A good tax advisor can keep the IRS off your back, keep your debt manageable, and ensure you and your family’s future — no song and dance required.


Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!


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2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted

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1/4 cup brown sugar

1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares 4 slices bacon, quartered

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot,

3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.

(Recipe inspired by



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