It's never a good idea to not pay your taxes because the Internal Revenue Service will eventually catch up to you, especially if you are a rap artist and have a substantial income. This was the case for rap artist "Fat Joe" who pleaded guilty this week for failing to pay taxes on approximately $3 million in income he earned over the past two years.
"Fat Joe," whose real name is Joseph Cartagena, entered his guilty plea in federal court in New Jersey because some of the companies that he earned money from are incorporated in New Jersey. The income he didn't report was for performances and music royalties and now owes approximately $718,038 in back taxes.
His guilty pleas cover the years 2007-2008 and his sentencing will take into consideration that the government is claiming that he failed to pay income taxes for 2007-2010.
According to Cartagena, he had taken steps to resolve the situation before he was charged. He is hoping to pay all of his back taxes before his next court date, which is April 3. This is the date of his sentencing for the charges.
If you are in a situation where you can't afford to pay your taxes or have a tax dispute, seeking the advice of a tax law attorney would be in your best interest. A tax law attorney understands tax law and policy and can assess your tax problems. It's not a hopeless situation if you can develop a plan to resolve it.
In this case the judge set bail at 250,000 for Cartagena and he was released until sentencing. Tax penalties can have serious consequences and he could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 plus penalties from the IRS.
Source: The StarPhoenix, "Rapper 'Fat Joe' pleads guilty to failing to pay taxes on nearly $3M in income," Samantha Henry, Dec. 21, 2012