5 Outrageous Tax Scams You Wouldn’t Believe

Every year, tax scammers steal millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Citizens all across America report falling victim to identity theft and suffering enormous financial losses, especially during tax season when they are most vulnerable.

However, there have been some real whoppers in the past. And when it comes tax scam stories, they can be so outrageous you wouldn’t believe they were possible.

  1. Willie Nelson

During the late 90s, Willie Nelson received a knock at his door from the IRS. He was charged for $32 million in unpaid taxes, and federal agents seized most of his assets. It turns out, it was the accountant’s fault, who allegedly hid the money in phony tax shelters.

Eventually, Nelson was able to agree with the IRS. To pay down his debt, he recorded The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories. The IRS only made $3.6 million from sales, while old Shotgun Willie returned to the spotlight and was finally able to pay off the tax.

  1. Enron

From 1996 to 2000, the energy company reported an increase in sales of 750% and a combined total of $100.8 billion. Fortune magazine even declared it “America’s Most Innovative Company.”

In 2001, their ride came to a halt when it was revealed they committed accounting fraud and they filed for bankruptcy. The scam was single-handedly responsible for obliterating $78 billion in stock value and the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002.

  1. US Commerce Secretary

President Donald Trump named Wilbur Ross as the Secretary of Commerce in 2017. According to leaks from the Paradise Paper, Ross failed to mention to Congress that he was the proud owner of stocks in a Russian gas company called Sibur.

Ross defended himself by arguing that the company isn’t under US laws and he didn’t have to disclose that information. It’s a real paradox when the US Secretary of Commerce doesn’t think he is obliged to report income to the government he works for.

  1. Wesley Snipes

We all have fond memories of Wesley Snipes wiping out vampires in the Blade Trilogy. More recently though, he was the one at the end of a stake when the IRS charged him with evading $7 million in taxes over six consecutive years.

Before receiving a three-year jail sentence, Mr. Snipes claimed that his advisor told him that legally, he didn’t have to pay taxes. Regrettably, his financial advisor got fired.

  1. Walter Anderson

Walter Anderson was a businessman and entrepreneur before he became known for being the mastermind behind the most massive tax evasion scam in US history.

After making millions from the division of AT&T, Anderson decided to stop paying his taxes. In 1998, he paid just $495 on a reported income of almost $68,000. Once the IRS got to him, he owed a combined $200 million in evaded taxes. He did manage to pay some of his debt but received nine years in prison for the remaining $74 million he still owed.

The key takeaway from this is you should always pay your taxes on time. If you need some help in that department, schedule a free consultation and settle any worries you might have for a clean bill of financial health at the IRS.

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