Actor Nicholas Cage is the latest celebrity to run afoul of the IRS.
According to Forbes magazine, Uncle Sam is accusing Cage of using a company he owns to wrongly write off $3.3 million in personal expenses including limos, meals, gifts, travel and his Gulfstream jet.
"In just-filed U.S. Tax Court lawsuits, the 44-year-old actor--using his legal name of Nicolas Coppola -- is disputing a personal IRS bill for $814,000 in taxes and penalties from 2002 to 2004, while his Saturn Productions of Los Angeles is fighting a demand for $988,000," the magazine said. "The feds hit Cage both ways, denying Saturn a deduction for the disputed expenses while taxing Cage individually on the perks as salary and `constructive dividends.'"
Cage's business manager, Samuel J. Levin, told Forbes the expenses were proper. The Tax Court may feel differently about the matter.
Maybe Cage should employ the legal team that got Wesley Snipes recently cleared of serious tax evasion charges. Snipes managed to convince a jury that he believed he wasn't required to pay income taxes because he didn't think he had to pay taxes. Nonetheless, Snipes owes the government $17 million in back taxes plus interest and penalties.
Cage is going to face a hefty legal bill, so he might want to unload some of his many properties such as a castle in U.K. and a multi-million dollar mansion in Rhode Island. I also have a suspicion that a "Face/Off 2" may be in the works.
--Freelance writer Jonathan Berr edits the blog Ketchup and Eggs.