Who Loses Everything Because of Tax Evasion?
When we think of celebrities trying to dodge the IRS, we tend to think of contemporary examples. Wesley Snipes or Martha Stewart, for example, who have had fairly high-profile cases and who paid millions of dollars to the government, did time in jail, or both as penance for tax evasion. However, the rich and famous have been trying to avoid giving a piece of their pie to Uncle Sam for quite some time. Some of them did it legitimately by finding loopholes opportunities in tax laws, but others… they just never sent in their checks. In fact, if you go back to the days of black and white movies, you’ll run into tax scandals that look a lot like the ones we see today.

For example, most people think when they think of Abbott and Costello remember bits of their famous skit, Who’s On First?. What most people don’t know, though, is that the comedic duo might have been done in by their back taxes.

Did Refusal To Pay Taxes Break Up The Famous Duo?
If you’re not familiar with Abbott and Costello except by reputation, they were a pair of comedians who first worked together in 1935 when they crossed paths on the stage. Both of them were talented performers in their own rights, but when they shared the stage they became more than the sum of their parts. After urging from fellow professionals and friends alike, they become an official comedic duo. The pair worked together on radio and Broadway, honing their act, and in 1940 they were signed by Universal Studios to appear in One Night In The Tropics. The pair were in dozens of movies over the next decade, and they grew immensely famous. They also dealt with a serious rift that impacted their career, but which they managed to put behind them. Their popularity waned, and they officially ended their partnership in 1957.

What most people forget, though, is that the two had to sell off practically everything they owned in 1956 to get clean with the IRS, which stemmed from tax evasion charges according to Esquire. This includes their houses, their valuables, and the rights to many of their films (which at the time were extremely valuable commodities).
Is the IRS responsible for the breakup of one of the most iconic comedy duos of the time? Or would Abbott and Costello have continued making movies, radio dramas, and performing in general if they had kept up on their taxes and paid what was owed? It’s hard to say, especially since Lou Costello passed in 1959 of a heart problems and the events taking place so far in the past, but there is more than a little speculation that of all the trials, tribulations, and personal animosity between the two performers, it was the IRS that finally broke up their act.

Have A Plan, And Stick To That Plan
When it comes to your “fortunes”, you might not be signing contracts with Universal Pictures, and making enough money that you’re well-known even by the standards of the silver screen era of Hollywood. However, just like Abbott and Costello, the government is making its list, and checking it twice when it comes to what you’re earning. And whether you’re making classic films, and writing skits that will be remembered and performed into the present day, or just trying to save enough for your retirement, make sure you have a plan. It is the key to your financial offense.

Otherwise, you’ll find out too late that the IRS does not consider taxes to be a laughing matter.

Mike was on Comfort Killers talking tax planning

Mike was on Comfort Killers talking tax planning

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