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Actor makes payment in high profile tax debt case

Actor Stephen Baldwin made another large payment towards his substantial tax debt recently. The payment was a part of an installment plan to resolve the tax dispute with state authorities after it was discovered that he had not paid an appropriate amount of taxes from the years 2008, 2009, and 2010.

The actor says that this accumulation of tax debt was not the result of an intentional act to try to avoid paying what he owes. Instead, he told reporters that he simply followed bad advice and was himself unclear on the law.

Misunderstandings or inaccurate tax advice are two issues that can easily land a taxpayer in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service. For the average California taxpayer, state and federal income tax laws are confusing and complex, which is why those with more complicated tax situations often seek the advice of a professional in preparing their taxes. Unfortunately if the advice from that professional is inaccurate, the taxpayer could land in hot water.

In this case that hot water led to charges of a class E felony for Mr. Baldwin for the failure to pay state taxes for several years in a row. However, under a plea agreement that he made with the state authorities, he is paying back a newly agreed upon amount and will be able to have his record cleared without serving any time behind bars. This settlement is an example of what can happen when one works with tax authorities to come to an agreeable solution.

Source: New York Post, "Stephen Baldwin pays $100,000 in overdue taxes," Oct. 18, 2013. 

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