Monday, April 13, 2009

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

So, you want to graduate and get a job? Remind me of an actor who got a job, made millions, and (oops) forgot to pay his taxes? Come on, really? Describe why people in extremely high tax brackets might want to thwart the system, and conveniently "forget" to pay taxes. Should our tax system be revamped? Explain your reasoning. ( hint on actor: W.S.)

17 comments:

  1. It's the green monster! And no I don't mean Godzilla. It's greed. People love the Mr. Benjamin and hate to have to part ways. So They go on and do a little Tax Evasion (next years hot dance). The purpose of which is to keep the money they have. Which Kinda sucks because when we do the same thing we get to go to jail. Can anyone say unfair? I can. so the whole problem here is whether or not we should do it, or is it more along the lines of what should be the penalty for it? How about a even larger fine for the offender and a break for the average citizen, I like that idea.

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  2. Even actors who have millions forget to pay their taxes. Take Wesley Snipes for example. He forgot to pay his taxes and he got 3 years in prison for tax evasion. You have to pay your taxes or else the federal government and the IRS will punish you. Snipes probably got distracted from all the movies and entertainment and he might of spend a lot of his money and then the tax day came and Snipes did not pay. Actors with so much money get distracted and they get put in extremely high tax brackets and then in the end they forget to pay their taxes and get punished by the IRS. Our tax system should not be revamped because if people make millions they have to give back to the government and plus they get a refund back if they file them. Wesley Snipes was ignorant and he thought he had all this money and could do whatever he wanted to do but that wasn't the case. If you are a wise person, you will file taxes to the federal government and not act all ignorant and spend money on whatever just because you have a lot of money. You should get punished if you do not pay your taxes even if you are in a low bracket. Wesley Snipes probably wants the tax system revamped but that is because he messed up and he tried to do some fraud and got caught. Tax evasion could be a very serious situation and it is better to just pay them when they are due. If you are in a high bracket, you obviously have a lot of money and it should not be a problem. Pay your taxes and you can live your life how you want. The tax system should stay as it is because it works well and if people can't pay it that is their problem they spend too much money and have a huge amount of taxes to pay. They should of thought of that before.

    "Actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns -- the maximum requested by federal prosecutors. Snipes' long prison sentence should send a loud and crystal clear message to all tax defiers that if they engage in similar tax defier conduct, they face joining him," said Assistant Attorney General Nathan J. Hochman of the Justice Department's Tax Division".- CNN

    Some people are also scared to file taxes because they owe too much money to the IRS and they don't send their taxes but that just becomes even worse because you will not only get a charge that you owe to them but also get a charge for not filing your taxes. Best advice for anyone is just to send out your taxes early and get it over with. The wisest thing to do if you owe money to the IRS, is to find out how much the bill is and see it early as possible so you can give yourself time to pay it out. Just file your taxes early and you will be fine.

    Sources:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/24/snipes.sentencing/index.html

    http://www.backstage.com/bso/advice-columns/business-of-acting/actors-assets/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003928608&inp=true

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Evasion

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  3. Here’s my favorite: According to Hip Hop News (at hiphopdx.com), Rapper Method Man, who has made millions from being a part of the Wu-Tang Clan, lost his 2008 Lincoln Navigator to the IRS because he had over $50,000 in unpaid taxes. When asked, Method Man explained, “I could have easily just written them a check for whatever amount, but no…I waited until they knocked on the door and were like, ‘We got your truck and we outta here.” This statement later developed into Method Man revealing that he forgot to pay his taxes “Because I got high, I forgot to pay. It was stupid. I’m an idiot for that.”
    Blaming marijuana for tax evasion, something Martha Stuart wouldn’t even have thought of. There were rumors of Method Man being broke, and that being the real reason for tax evasion. But a source reports that he has well enough money to pay taxes, but was indeed too stoned to actually pay them.
    Taxes go by percents, meaning if you make more money, you pay more taxes. Celebrities that are not educated in economics might try to cheat out of taxes because they seem extremely high to what they are used to. I like it this way. Rich people pay more, poor people pay less. I would like to see more tax cuts for middle-lower class families, though. Those who can afford it, shouldn’t need tax cuts!

    source: http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.8826/title.method-man-says-marijuana-made-him-forget-tax-payment

    Mitchell 1

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  4. People who make a lot of money like actors and TV stars have to pay a higher tax rate. To people in the middle class, including myself, that only seems fair. But to them it might not. Everyone "forgets" to pay taxes or gets behind in them at some point but most people don't get put behind bars simply because they "forgot." People who make millions of dollars a year also might feel like they deserve special treatment. Now I've never met a celeberty but I feel like a lot of them might simply forget and expect to get out of it. This is just an example of how our tax system is working and how if you don't pay your taxes, consequences will come.

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  5. Celebrities in particular are the ones who tend to try and avoid their taxes. Since they believe that it's not fair that Obama made a law to tax the celebrities more, when in our eyes that seems perfectly fair. They can make MILLIONS of dollars off of one movie, sports game, or concert while the middle/lower classes make a little over $50,000 a year. The perfect celebrity that tried to avoid his taxes is Nicholas Cage.

    There are two guarantees in life; death and taxes. Nicolas Cage had found a clever way to get out of the second part, but unfortunately for him, the IRS caught on.

    Cage has been accused of using his production company to "wrongly write off $3.3 million in personal expenses."

    He's allegedly been using his company, Saturn Productions, to pay for "limos, meals, gifts, travel", reports Forbes.com

    However, a rep for the star says the items were "security needs". Cage has filed a U.S. Tax Court lawsuit disputing $814,000 in taxes and penalties while Saturn is refusing to pay the IRS $988,000. Will these celebrities ever learn?

    http://www.hollyscoop.com/nicolas-cage/nicolas-cage-accused-of-tax-fraud_14771.aspx

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  6. Last year Wesley Snipes was sentence to there years in prison for filing to file his taxes. Snipes owes $17 million in back taxes. It seems really stupid that being a movie star that he didn’t have some one telling him, that he needed to file his taxes or have someone prepare his taxes for him.
    I don’t believe that people “forget” to pay their taxes. They know taxes are coming and willfully do not pay.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/25/business/25snipes.html

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  7. Like Zita and Mike said, Wesley Snipes forgot to pay his taxes and was sent to three years of prison for it. How could a big star just forgot to pay his taxes? I think the tax evasion punishment is a little too extreme. I mean how can the government send someone to jail for something they require all citizens to do? Jail should not be an option for tax evasion because those people are not bad people that rob and murder people, they just forgot to pay their taxes. Even though some people try to cheat their way through the system does not mean they deserve jail. They should just be fined for what they owe. If the government keeps sending tax evaders to jail, they will fall in more debt because keeping someone in jail costs the government more money.

    Why should we be required to pay the government for our earnings. I guess freedom is never free. People are being sent to jail because they owe something that we put our own value into. In South Park yesterday, earth was denied to the Galactic Empire because they decided to keep the space cash which they believed was worth something. Currency is worth only what we make it. The government is taking away the freedom from a human being because they did not pay their taxes of which they believe is worth something.

    Source:
    South Park

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  8. "A federal judge on Thursday sentenced the actor Wesley Snipes to three years in prison for willfully failing to file tax returns." "Mr. Snipes, who has built a worldwide following acting in films like the “Blade” vampire trilogy, must pay up to $17 million in back taxes plus penalties and interest."
    Famous people who forget to pay taxes feel, that they can be excused because they work to hard making movies. They also feel that they can get away with not paying taxes because their famous. Many famous people feel that money will solve any issue that they come across. Money talks.
    Our tax system should be stricter, famous people don't need all that money, that money should be used to help others. With one million dollars charities are able to help more people and improvements could be made to shelters where some people have to live because they lost their homes and are unemployed. Taxes fix many problems in the US, the government does not use all the money for themselves. When rich people pay their taxes, they are helping the less fortunate. Obama wants to heavily tax the rich because they are the people who can pay their taxes. The average family can barley survive with thirty thousand dollars a year. Tax money could put those children through college, help the family get quality food and shelter, and provide a nest egg for emergencies that can occur.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/25/business/25snipes.html

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  9. http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/24/snipes.sentencing/

    Actor Wesley Snipes got sentenced to three years in prison for three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns. Hopefully his long sentence will send out a message to all other actor/actress, and other civilians that it is important to pay your taxes or there will be a consequence. Some people are just so money hungry and always want more and more, that maybe they get carried away and forget about their Bills. Its very important to pay your taxes, what if you just decided oh its really not that big of a deal i'm just not going to pay my rent this month because there wont be any consequences. There are bills and due dates for a reason, we can't push the system and take advantage of our taxes.


    Sierra, Ariel, Ivan

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  10. http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/24/snipes.sentencing/

    Actor Wesley Snipes got sentenced to three years in prison for three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns. Hopefully his long sentence will send out a message to all other actor/actress, and other civilians that it is important to pay your taxes or there will be a consequence. Some people are just so money hungry and always want more and more, that maybe they get carried away and forget about their Bills. Its very important to pay your taxes, what if you just decided oh its really not that big of a deal i'm just not going to pay my rent this month because there wont be any consequences. There are bills and due dates for a reason, we can't push the system and take advantage of our taxes.


    Sierra, Ariel, Ivan

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  11. In April 2008, Wesley Snipes was sentenced to 3 years in prison for not paying his taxes - about $15 million worth. Given the fact that he's been in 40 different movies, starting of with a part in Michael Jackson's "Bad" music video in 1987, I find it hard to believe that he couldn't afford to pay his taxes. Paying taxes is something that everyone has to do for the good of the whole country, no matter how annoying it is to have a huge chunk of your paycheck taken away every year. The fact that he has five children is even worse - he's not being a good role model for his children, showing how he lied. “For nearly a decade, Snipes has engaged in a campaign of criminal tax conduct combining brazen defiance with insidious concealment,” the prosecuting attorney, Robert O’Neill, told the court in a sentencing memorandum. “In the defendant Wesley Snipes, the court is presented with a wealthy, famous and inveterate tax scofflaw. If ever a tax offender was deserving of being held accountable to the maximum extent for his criminal wrongdoing, Snipes is that defendant.” I feel that our tax system should be revamped so people in higher tax brackets can't try to escape from paying taxes. I know my view is a little different than the average person because I don't pay taxes, but I still feel it is something that can't be afforded.

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3671886.ece

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  12. Even back in the day people forgot to pay taxes example Al Capone. He orchestrated the most notorious gangland killing of the century, the 1929 Saint Valentine's Day Massacre in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago's North Side. Although details of the killing of the seven victims in a garage at 2122 North Clark Street (then the SMC Cartage Co.) are still in dispute and no one was ever indicted for the crime, their deaths are generally linked to Capone and his henchmen.n 1929, Prohibition Bureau agent Eliot Ness began a successful investigation of Capone and his business. Shutting down many breweries and speakeasies Capone owned, Ness brought down his empire slowly. In 1931, Capone was indicted for income tax evasion and various violations of the Volstead Act. With overwhelming evidence, his attorneys made a plea deal, but the presiding judge warned he might not follow the sentencing recommendation from the prosecution, so Capone withdrew his plea of guilty. Attempting to bribe and intimidate the potential jurors, his plan was discovered by Ness' men. The jury pool was then switched with one from another case, and Capone was stymied. Following a long trial, he was found guilty on some income tax evasion counts (the Volstead Act violations had been dropped to be used if Capone got off with a light sentence). The judge gave him an eleven-year sentence along with heavy fines, and liens were filed against his various properties. His appeal was denied. In May 1932, Capone was sent to Atlanta U.S. Penitentia.He was then transferred to Alcatraz, where tight security and an uncompromising warden ensured that Capone had no contact with the outside world. apone's control and interests within organized crime diminished rapidly after his imprisonment, and he was no longer able to run the Outfit after his release. He had lost weight, and his physical and mental health had declined. On January 21, 1947, Capone had an apoplectic stroke. He regained consciousness and started to improve but contracted pneumonia on January 24. This caused him to suffer a cardiac arrest the next day (possibly associated with the complications of third-stage neurosyphilis).[citation needed] Capone died after the arrest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Capone#Capone.27s_wealth_and_power_grows_in_Cicero

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  13. I agree with Jake in saying it is definately out of greed. Once people have money they do not want to give it away. It would be a stupid decision to try to go around the law. You always get caught and then end up having to go to jail for tax evasion. Paying taxes is just something everyone has to do. If you get caught you should have to pay more then what you were suppose too.

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  14. Last year in 2008, actor Wesley Snipes received a three-year prison sentence for tax offences. I don't necessarily think he should be jailed but he should have to pay back what he owes and the fines presented. It's only fair that he does and he swears like he doesn't have money or anything. It's ridiculous that stars think just because they are famous they are going to be excused. Some people are just so greedy. "Before sentencing, Snipes asked the court to show mercy, apologising for his behaviour by saying he was "an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance". I can't believe he actually tried to talk his way out of it, as if a middle class person would be able to have the same opportunity. I agree with Mike that the tax system we have now works fine and actors should just follow the law like everyone else.

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7366211.stm

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  15. Robertino1,KyleL1April 30, 2009 at 9:26 PM

    In April 2008, Wesley Snipes was sentenced to 3 years in prison for not paying his taxes - about $15 million worth. This is an example that even though you are rich and famous, you must pay taxes just like every citizen of the United States. Many people who make above average salaries most of the time do not want to pay taxes because they do not want to part ways with their earned wealth. since they are in a higher bracket their taxes are much higher but they earn enough that it should not be a problem for them.

    I believe that our tax system needs to be revamped because the government takes so much away from what you earn and it just creates reasons fro many people to skip paying taxes because of all the money they lose from this.

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  16. People in extremely high tax brackets might want to thwart the system because the higher the backet you are the more you get taxed. They do not want to have to pay more than someone else. They might feel that they don't deserve to be taxed more because they are more successful and work harder than someone who doesn't make as much and doesn't work as hard as they do. People may also try to
    "forget" to pay their taxes to try to get out of it. If they get audited then they end up paying anyways but then if they do not get caught then they do not have to pay.

    The court heard yesterday that Snipes dodged $15 million (£7.5 million) in tax through a campaign in which he concealed millions offshore, falsely applied for tax refunds and bombarded the Internal Revenue Service with frivolous correspondence that threatened government employees, railed about extortion and used twisted legal interpretations to back his claim that taxation was unlawful.

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3671886.ece

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  17. Al Capone is an examlpe of someone who definately had enough money to pay off his taxes but felt as if he was above the law. He would use other peoples names to get away with things and would somehow always dodge the government.

    As head of the Chicago underworld during the 1920s, Al Capone was involved in some less than legal activities. Dubbed Public Enemy No.1, he became the focus of an intense investigation by the FBI. It was tough going for law enforcement; Capone owned nothing in his own name and used front men, making it almost impossible to get the charges the government threw at him to stick. That is, until a stack of paper would rat him out.

    During a routine raid of one of Capone's warehouses, Eliot Ness and his "Untouchables" stumbled across a desk drawer containing account information for the mobster. It would be just enough to seal his fate.

    The man responsible for Chicago's then-illegal alcohol trade, the corrupting of local government and the St. Valentine's Day massacre wouldn't be taken down by some lousy capital murder charge. The king of Chicago would be done in by paperwork. Capone once allegedly said "The income tax law is a lot of bunk. The government can't collect legal taxes from illegal money." But this time, the government did collect.

    After his trial in 1931, Capone was ordered to pay $80,000 dollars in fines and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He would serve only six and a half of those years, but they took their toll. While locked up, numerous attempts on his life were made and the syphilis he contracted during his youth would rapidly progress, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Suffering from syphilitic dementia, he was released 1939 and after another stint in jail, would live out the remainder of his days with his family in Florida.

    This is an example of someone who didn't forget to pay his taxes, but tryed to dodge them instead. I guess he didn't want to be involved with the government at all since he was dealing with illegal trading or maybe he just didn't want to payany money. Who knows. Our system works pretty good for the most part. In any plan there will always be a few who don't follow the rules and get away with things. The good part is most of them get caught and end up paying the price.

    source: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/04/15/famous.tax/index.html

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