Recently, it was reported that fraudster/actor Wesley Snipes was granted permission to travel outside of the United States in order to work on two movies – Gallowwalker and Chasing the Dragon. Snipes defrauded the United States government, and in my opinion each and every tax paying citizen of our great nation – when he willfully refused to pay taxes due since 1999. The sum of money owed is not known exactly (no tax returns were filed), but his earnings during this time were in excess of $38 million.
My assumption is that much of the money he owes has been spent or is “hidden” and will not be turned over or seized by the government. This is where many tax payers would negotiate with the Internal Revenue Service and get an agreed upon settlement on the debt. I hope they do not allow Snipes to get away with this. This was not an error, an oversight, or the result of poor tax advice. Snipes made $38 million and claimed that he owed no taxes. I don’t care who your accountant and tax advisor is – anyone would know that this was not correct. Snipes knew exactly what he was doing AND knew he was defrauding the United States. Snipes should be made to repay every penny plus interest plus any and all related penalties before he gets to keep a dime of it for himself.
Now to the travel. If he is to make money to repay the government, he must make movies. Based on Snipes’ extremely shaky ethics, I doubt many people would hire him to perform a real job. Also, I doubt he has the mental capability to make a good deal of money at anything other than acting – well, anything legal anyway. I have several questions related to the travel.
Firstly, we not have first got some sort of assurance from the governments that he is traveling to that he would not be able to take refuge there? How do we guarantee he comes back. This was the main reason that the ability to travel was up in the air to begin with.
Secondly, who is getting paid for this acting. Are the “paychecks” cut to Snipes or are they cut to some entity that he has set up that technically is not in violation of paying taxes. If the entity is paying Snipes a “salary,” of say $50K a year – the government may only garnish a small percentage of his salary (I think 10%). The rest of the millions will set in the Corporation and only current taxes will have to be paid. I hope that all this was thought out and planned by the judges who granted him the right to travel. My guess is the Snipes is O.J.’d up and will not have to pay the money he owes the United States for a long long time – if ever.
Third, why is he not in jail? How many other people are in jail for tax fraud in much smaller amounts? The man was convicted – of three counts. He received a maximum of 3 years in jail and was told he would be notified of when and where to report to begin serving his sentence. What? Don’t you start serving your sentence when you are convicted? Why is he allowed to keep traveling and making movies? Shouldn’t this crook be in a jail cell?
For my final point, I want to ask who wants to go see these movies? I am not talking about the genre of movies, but rather who actually wants to go support this criminal by continuing to provide him the lavish lifestyle he has come to live when so much of the movie going public pays so much in taxes that they can hardly afford the tickets and popcorn?
We have a huge national debt in this country, and the liberals want to soak the rich and middle class to try to get it balanced and paid. Well, Snipes is the richest of the rich, yet so many of these same liberals are supporting him for various reasons. The IRS went after Snipes with much more passive means than they do many tax payers who do not file and pay their taxes – with much less income.
The bottom line is: Snipes knew he owed taxes on the money. If he didn’t, he is the dumbest man in the country. Snipes knowingly did not file or pay his taxes. He should receive his just punishment. Period.
Note to Wesley Snipes: I hope your cell mates think you are pretty.
Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Calculated Moves
Creativity and CPAs don’t generally go together. Most people think of CPAs as nerdy accountants who can’t talk with people. Well, it’s time to break that stereotype. Lively, friendly, and knowledgeable can be a part of your relationship with your CPA as demonstrated by Donna and Chad Bordeaux. They have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs. They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams. They have been able to help businesses earn many times more profit than the average business in the same industry and are passionate about helping industries that help families build great memories.