The Osbournes' New Reality: A $1.7 Million Tax Lien

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Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne face a $1.7 million tax lien.Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne may be making plans to attend the Royal Wedding in the UK, but the couple is currently making news here in the United States. Several media outlets, led by TMZ, have reported that the IRS has filed a $1.7 million lien for unpaid taxes against the rock star couple.

According to lien documents filed in the L.A. County Recorder's Office, Ozzy and Sharon owe $718,948.25 in unpaid taxes for the 2008 tax year, and $1,024,175.03 in unpaid taxes for 2009. The amount of the lien astonished many, considering the level of success that the Osbournes have achieved over the past few decades. In addition to Ozzy's music career, the two have earned income from media appearances, shrewd business ventures (such as OzzFest) and their former reality show on MTV. Estimates place the couples' net worth at close to $180 million.There has been no official comment from the Osbourne camp about the nature of the liens, but Sharon unofficially addressed the issue on Twitter, noting last week:

You can't rely on anyone but yourself. You have to be on top of your own business affairs. My fault........lesson learned.

She followed up this week with an explanation by tweeting:

Just because you're paying someone doesn't mean they're doing the job correctly.

While it's easy to jump to conclusions and slap labels on taxpayers in trouble, poor financial advice is more common than you would imagine. In fact, it's a frustration shared by many taxpayers, including actor Nicolas Cage. Cage, who at one point was said to owe the IRS nearly $20 million in unpaid taxes, blamed his business manager for making poor decisions that ultimately lead to his financial issues. Cage has since switched business managers and is taking steps to repay the IRS.

You don't have to be a rock star or actor to fall prey to bad advice. Stories like these underscore the importance of hiring a good tax professional.
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