Are you not making the millions you planned to make? Is your face not occupying magazine covers? Is your name nowhere to be found on any Forbes lists? Well, the silver lining is that you are not subject to any extra scrutiny by the IRS. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen was audited recently and believes that her 7-year stint at the top of Forbes’ “Highest Paid Supermodels” list was at least partly to blame. Perhaps Gisele gets a double dose of said scrutiny, being married to football star Tom Brady, who also sits atop his respective Forbes highest paid list. Maybe living life in relative anonymity isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Gisele’s beef with Forbes is that they don’t have the details of her accounting, they don’t have her bank statements, and their estimates are too high. She obviously makes a lot of money, but nowhere near the $42 million that Forbes has her making. Forbes countered by citing all the various sources of their income estimates: editorial shoots, independent licensing ventures, spokesperson gigs, and contracts from beauty and fashion companies.
For all we know, she may have been audited anyway. There are many different factors (or “red flags”) that are considered when selecting cases for an IRS audit, but one of the biggest factors has to be an extremely high income.
Still, Gisele doesn’t think too highly of Forbes. She says “[t]here should be a magazine to quantify knowledge, understanding and love for people: that is power.” Not a bad idea for a magazine, and she better get on that quick before the government figures out a way to tax knowledge, understanding, and love too.