The Tax Blotter - June 2017

Who says taxes aren’t fun? This column is devoted to interesting tidbits, legislative developments and amusing news in the world of taxation. At the very least, it will keep you informed and, at best, it might illicit a chuckle of bring smile to your lips..

Celebrities seem to make as much for news on the tax front as they do in their careers. Here are a few recent examples that all coincidentally involve residents of New Jersey, the Garden State.

Home sweet home. A mansion owned by renowned rapper Lil’ Kim in exclusive Bergen County, a suburban area in New Jersey near New York City, has just gone into foreclosure. She bought the home in 2002 for $2,275 million but has been struggling to pay the property taxes – currently about $23,000 annually – for several years. Despite a recent tour with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Lil’ Kim remains mired in financial trouble, including an active tax lien of more than $125,000 imposed by the IRS in 2015.

Born to run. Jersey-born and bred rocker Bruce Springsteen freely admits to evading taxes early in his career. Corroborating revelations made in his recently-published autobiography, the Boss wryly commented at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. “The entire state wasn't paying any taxes. So, years went by and all of this time went by. Nobody's paying any taxes. Me, the band, no one I know … I didn't pay those taxes." It wasn’t until he reached his glory days in 1975 that Springsteen began meeting his tax obligations. But the E Street Band leader is in full compliance with the tax law now.

Sticky tax situation. Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, one of the stars of the former TV reality show “Jersey Shore,” has landed in more hot water. Additional tax fraud charges were filed against Sorrentino and his brother Mark on April 7, based on allegations from federal prosecutors that the duo filed fraudulent tax returns and improperly claimed deductions for luxury cars and expensive clothing. Previously, the Situation was indicted in 2014 on various charges, including tax evasion, avoiding reporting requirements and falsifying records. He faces a prison term of ten years for each count and five years for the tax evasion rap.