The tax issues of two very famous Academy Award-winners came to light this week.
Legendary director Martin Scorsese is accused of owing the IRS $2.85 million in back taxes and related interest and penalties. The 63-year-old has been slapped with a past-due notice that gives the IRS first claim on any sales of the director’s real estate. Scorsese’s spokesperson claims that the IRS lien is a mistake and that “Taxi Driver” director no longer owes any money.
Actor Al Pacino was hit with $188,283.50 IRS tax bill at around the same time. The IRS alleges that the 70-year-old “Godfather” star neglected to pay taxes for 2008 and 2009.
Both celebs blame these discrepancies on the recently convicted Kenneth Starr, a financial adviser to celebs like Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone who mismanaged and stole money from a number of wealthy clients, including Uma Thurman and Lauren Bacall. Starr was convicted of fraud last week and sentenced to 7½ years in prison.
Sources say that Scorsese’s tax issues are likely related to his prior business relationship with Starr, a relationship that ended in early 2010, just months before Starr was busted for running a $33 million Ponzi scheme.
Pacino’s reps say that he did not intentionally overlook his taxes and blame Starr, the actor’s former business manager, for the mistake. Now under the advisement of new financial managers, the actor is working to resolve this situation with the IRS as soon as possible.
Wesley Snipes, who went to prison in December, also blamed Starr for his tax woes.