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Aretha Franklin’s Estate Tackles IRS Over Unpaid Tax

By Published December 31, 2018

The late Aretha Franklin’s estate is in battle with the US tax collectors, the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) over the singer’s unpaid tax of more than $6.3 million.

However, her estate refuted the claims insisting that about half of those back taxes to the IRS have already been paid.

In the IRS filed documents in Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan, they are claiming that Franklin’s unpaid income tax dates from years 2012 through 2018 and that no part of this debt, including $1.5 million in penalties has been paid.

IRS court documents also says “this debt has priority and must be paid in full in advance of distribution to creditors to the extent provided by law.”

A representative of Franklin’s estate, David Bennett confirmed that the IRS is auditing the estate and the estate has paid at least $3 million of the back taxes to the IRS.

“The IRS has filed its proof of claim in the ordinary cause of the estate’s proceeding,” Bennett said in a statement, “This is not a liquidated claim, and it is disputed by the estate. The vast majority of Ms. Franklin’s personal 1040 tax obligations were paid prior to her death – something she wished to occur. The estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues.”

“We have a tax attorney. All of her returns have been filed,” Bennett told the AP. “We have disputes with the IRS regarding what they claim was income. We claim its double-dipping income because they don’t understand how the business works.”

He added that Franklin had a lot of expenses whenever she toured. “She had to pay for transportation, hotel rooms, backup singers, musicians. When she did that the IRS was questioning the returns she filed,” Bennett said. “We’re going through audits. Returns were filed as timely as we could get them filed.”

Franklin died of pancreatic cancer in August in her Detroit apartment. She was 76.

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