“Every time I turn around, cats got they hands out wanting something from me. I ain’t got it, so you can’t get it.”
These lyrics from rapper DMX’s 2003 hit “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” describe his scrappy rise to fame, but earlier this year, New York’s acting U.S. district attorney Joon Kim connected the lyrics to DMX’s current legal trouble with the IRS: DMX, a Yonkers native, is charged with 14 counts of tax evasion, including failure to file a tax return, and, allegedly, the 46-year-old hip-hop star owes a $1.7 million IRS tax debt.
He appeared in federal court on July 14 in New York City, pled not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond. If he’s found guilty, he could spend 44 years in jail.
How did this productive rapper amass such a huge debt?
Prosecutor Kim has alleged that DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, stopped paying taxes at the height of his career in the early 2000s. At the time, he was earning millions of dollars from records, concerts and movies. However, according to the prosecutor, he hid his income from the IRS, in various ways. For example, he allegedly opened bank accounts in false names and filed false income reports in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He also has been accused of depositing paychecks into his managers’ bank accounts, whereupon they gave him cash to pay his expenses.
What can we learn from DMX?
First, file your taxes every year on time and be honest about your income. If you need an extension for any reason, file a timely extension request.
Next, double check that your tax return is accurate. DMX’s lawyer Murray Richman claims that the rapper focused on making music, and he trusted others to file and pay his taxes. However, individuals are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their tax returns.
Finally, if you find yourself in a similar situation, hire an attorney. Your legal council will assist you in navigating the complex and stressful IRS tax evasion charges.
Don’t wait until the situation is dire. Instead, contact Highland Tax Group at 720-398-6088 for assistance in handling your IRS tax debt.