Aretha Franklin owed millions in US taxes, IRS says

Aretha Franklin performing in 2016.
Aretha Franklin performing in 2016.

The late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, reportedly owed millions of dollars to the IRS. Franklin, who passed on 16 August aged 76 this year after a suffering a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour, was reportedly on the line for almost $8 million (£6.3 million).

Now the responsibility of Franklin’s estate, its attorney says that $3 million (£2.6 million) has already been paid in back taxes since Franklin’s death.

The estate is currently being audited by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and legal documents obtained by TMZ reveal that the estate owes $6.3 million (£4.9 million) in back taxes from 2012 to 2018 and $1.5 million (£1.1 million) in penalties.

The estate’s attorney, David Bennett Esq., told the Associated Press that he was aware of the taxes owed, and that a repayment plan was in place.

“We have a tax attorney. All of her returns have been filed. 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.”

Bennett added that the IRS was ‘questioning’ the late Franklin’s expenses claims.

“She had to pay for transportation, hotel rooms, backup singers, musicians. When she did that the IRS was questioning the returns she filed. We’re going through audits. Returns were filed as timely as we could get them filed.”

Franklin was estimated to be worth around $80 million (£63 million) at her time of death, but left no will.

Regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time, the Detroit, USA, native was famous around the world for her legendary soul hits, including ‘Say a Little Prayer,’ ‘Respect’ and ‘A Natural Woman.’

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