If you’re feeling despondent about your tax situation vis-à-vis the IRS, it sometimes helps to consider the plight of someone who’s in much deeper trouble. According to the hip-hop news site Urban Daily, culling their figures from documents filed by the IRS, mega-selling artist R. Kelly hasn’t paid any federal taxes since 2004: the Grammy-winning singer and songwriter has withheld anywhere from $400,000 to close to $1.5 million per year over the last six years. (These figures actually seem a bit low, considering R. Kelly’s popularity, so maybe the IRS is giving him the benefit of the doubt.)
Kelly himself wouldn’t comment on the IRS filing, but a spokesman has stated that he “is in the process of working everything out with the government and is confident that all his obligations will be satisfied.” (According to Urban Daily, Kelly is far from the only African-American entertainer in trouble with the IRS, though he’s certainly the most well known.)
How does the IRS plan to collect its money? Well, it’s not as if R. Kelly has a day job, so they can’t garnish his weekly paychecks. Most likely, the IRS will compel Kelly to sell one or two of his houses, or force him to grant access to one of his (presumably) numerous bank accounts. It may even be possible, depending on how negotiations with Kelly’s tax lawyers turn out, that the feds will choose to garnish Kelly’s royalties from CD and online music sales.