All that glitters is not gold. There are many actors in the entertainment industry that are seemingly rich from the work they do. Yes, it would rightfully be a decent assumption to have, but there are many whose lives have been fabricated in some way for the public. As a matter of fact, some of your favorite entertainers have not been smart with their monies, which got them into deep trouble with the IRS. Artists from Chris Tucker to Wesley Snipes have seen their share of financial issues, although at one point being the top actors on the scene.
Comedian and actor Chris Tucker was once the hottest and most sought-after performer on the planet. He began in 1993 with an appearance on television’s Hangin With Mr. Cooper and Def Comedy Jam. But it was him starring in the first installment of Friday as well as the highly successful Rush Hour franchise that solidified Chris Tucker into superstardom.
The stratosphere was not high enough once the success of Rush Hour hit. Soon enough, Tucker became the highest paid actor when he negotiated a higher salary of $20 million for its sequel. That would only increase by $5 million when he was asked to return for the third installment of the Rush Hour franchise. This was a part of a two-picture deal with the film studio New Line Studio that was at the time worth $40 million. With this deal, Tucker was also set to receive 20% of the film’s gross receipts.
But financial woes would soon come that would bring peril to Chris Tucker’s life and accounts. A report from Celebrity Net Worth states that the Silver Linings Playbook actor started to feel the pressure from the IRS. For the years 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005, Tucker had reportedly accumulated an unpaid 14 million dollars. However, a representative for Chris Tucker stated that number was inaccurate.
Tucker did have a reported problems with real estate investments around the time as well, including a $4.4 bill he owed to the bank on a Florida home in 2011. It was also reported that a tax lien had been placed on him for $2.5 million in the state of Georgia in 2014. According to his reps, the lien was “the result of an audit that lasted for four years which stemmed from poor accounting and business management,” via CNN.
The debt was reportedly ultimately settled, and Chris Tucker was able to joke about it on his 2015 Netflix special. “Take care of your business, man, and don’t listen to people,” the comedian said. “Do your own business. Be careful who you listen to [because] that’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes!”
But Chris Tucker’s tax problems are apparently far from over. Recent reports states that he is now being sued by the government for a total of $9.6 million for neglecting to pay taxes dating back to 2002. The Wrap revealed that Tucker and IRS personnel were in discussions to break up the payments to $25,000/month, but that was ultimately turned down by the government. The actor is reportedly now worth $5 million according to Celebrity Net Worth, but this could all change if the long-discussed Rush Hour 4 actually happens.
Chris Tucker joins a long list of celebrities who have dealt with, or are currently going through issues with the IRS. Recently, rapper Ja Rule along with his wife were alleged to owe over $3 million in back taxes, particularly from 2005-2010 and 2012-2017 according to Radar. Rule also has had previous arrests due to negligence with his income taxes for years. Of course, he was clowned by longtime nemesis 50 Cent, who upon hearing the news took the opportunity to joke on him publicly.
Speaking of Wesley Snipes, he famously served a three year prison sentence for tax evasion and was released in 2013. Other celebrities who spent time in jail due to tax issues include Lauryn Hill, who was sentenced to three months in prison for failure to pay around $1.8 million in taxes from 2005-2007. Legendary singer Ronald Isley was also sentenced to 3 years and one month in prison at the age of 65 for tax evasion as well.