Is Steven Seagal Above the Law when it comes to his tax debt?

Since the State started publishing the names of the individuals who owe the largest amounts, the FTB has collected more than $100 million in delinquent tax debt.

Because of the amounts collected, California has gotten even more aggressive with their efforts. For instance, a new state law (AB 1424, Perea), increases the number of names published from 250 to 500. It also authorizes the State of California to suspend professional and/or driver’s licenses of these individuals.

Here at Moskowitz, LLP, A Tax Law Firm, we have found that the State will release the suspended license(s) once the individual comes forward and a tax debt collection plan is authorized by the State. From our practical experience, the professional license that is most often suspended for tax debt reasons is the Contractor’s Licenses. However, it appears the reading of this new law and the State’s website, that the State of California is actively monitoring professional licenses, including but not limited to, licenses to practice law, medicine, real estate, insurance, cosmetology licenses, nursing, dental, chiropractic, and horse racing. We suspect that suspending these types of licenses will have collateral effects on the individual beyond tax debt collection aspects for which the law was designed. For instance, when the State suspends a contractor’s license, that suspension also affects the individual’s ability to earn income and the bonds and insurance associated with the business.

Two celebrities are among the individuals on the list – who owe a substantial $19.1 million altogether – are famed action star Steven Seagal and celebrated singer Dionne Warwick. The FTB asserts that Seagal, whose latest film, “Maximum Conviction,” will be released in November, is accountable for $347,849 in back taxes. Meanwhile, Warwick has reportedly racked up $2.6 million in tax-related debt. Lucky for these two, their ability to earn a living is not dependent upon having a valid acting license.

Moskowitz, LLP is a Tax Law Firm in California whose attorneys advise clients on how to resolve matters of back tax liabilities through strategic planning, litigation, and aggressive representation before administrative agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization, and Employment Development Department.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Moskowitz LLP Tax Law Firm members have more than three decades of tax law experience obtaining results for both civil and criminal tax cases. If you have IRS, State or international tax matters or tax problems whether within San Francisco Bay area or anywhere in the world, our Tax Attorneys and CPAs offer an experienced tax team for your needs. For more information, please see our website or contact us by phone at: (888) 829-3325, (415) 394-7200.

Moskowitz LLP, A Tax Law Firm, Disclaimer: Because of the generality of this blog post, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Furthermore, in accordance with Treasury Regulation Circular 230, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purposes of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii.) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any tax-related matter addressed herein.