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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Wesley Snipes Sentenced to Three Years

Don't mess with the IRS. Snipes was convicted of tax evasion earlier this year, and has now been sentenced to serve three years.
Quote:
OCALA, Florida (Reuters) - Actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday for failing to file his federal income tax returns.

The sentenced was the maximum under the law, which U.S. prosecutors had recommended for the star of the "Blade" movie series. He was found guilty in February of failing to file tax returns for 1999-2001.....

Here's the rest of the article:


http://www.reuters.com/article/entertai ... 8420080424




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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 07:21 PM
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Disgusting that he'll spend more time in prison than Michael Vick.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 08:27 PM
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He says he's sorry for his mistakes?

Good grief. Not filing your income tax returns isn't a "mistake". Well, I mean, it's a mistake, but it's not a MISTAKE. He didn't misinterpret a tax law or something, he deliberately committed a crime.

He's only sorry he got caught.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 08:29 PM
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Yup. He even stayed out of the country for many months, in a place with no extradiction agreement with the U.S.

This has been going on for many years, and I'm sure if he had paid up, he could have settled it. The ego of this man is amazing.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 01:01 AM
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Are you guys saying that in the USA, failing to file income tax returns in any given year is a criminal offence? That is very odd.

Here in Canada, if you don't file, they just continue to accrue interest on any outstanding tax deficit owed by the tax payer, but any tax surplus (refund) owed by government to tax payer will not be paid out until returns are "caught up";

Meaning if you were behind 5 years, 3 of those were refunds totalling $3,000, and 2 remaining years were tax owed (to government) of $2,000 total, you would not get your $1,000 net refund until you filed all five years' returns.

I would have at least one family member incarcerated as of today if that law were in place in Canada. Yikes.

Edit: Perhaps if you owed "substantial" amounts of tax in arrears, they can arrest you; I just found that "not filing" was the criminal act in and of itself, not being "behind" on taxes or whatever.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 01:07 AM
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He purposely refused to pay them. He owed taxes on millions of dollars.

I noticed tonight on Cinemax: Money Train starring Wesley Snipes.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 01:39 AM
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In the US, not filing a tax return is a criminal offense and you can go to jail for it (as this demonstrates).

Not paying your tax is a criminal offense only if the government can prove you did it "willfully" - which according to Google seems to mean the government needs to prove not only that you could have afforded to pay the taxes, but also that you knew you were doing something illegal when you did it.

Not paying your taxes because you don't have the money or messed up your tax returns is not a criminal offense in the US.

The 3 years of jail time (one for each year he failed to file) is apparently the maximum possible sentence -- failure to file is only a misdemeanor. For whatever reason, he was acquitted of tax fraud, which is a felony.

Actually, based on the CRA website, it looks like failure to file your tax return is punishable by up to a year in prison in Canada, too:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/newsroom/myths/menu-e.html#m3:
Quote:
Under the law, individuals who fail to file a return as required, or who fail to comply with a court order to file, are liable to a fine of $1,000 to $25,000 and up to 12 months imprisonment, as well as having to pay their unpaid taxes with interest.

<snip>

In the 2004-2005 fiscal year, the CRA prosecuted 2,600 individuals for failing to file a tax return and successfully prosecuted 211 cases involving income tax evasion or fraud.
I doubt that people are actually thrown in prison for this very often in either country.

But really, there's no excuse for not filing a tax return. It's not like there's any way someone can fail to know they had to!

EDIT: Ah, just noticed your edit.

I gather the IRS is actually pretty easy to work with in terms of making arrangements for payment plans if you can't afford to pay. They just get really testy when you CAN pay, but don't.
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