I often post stories of celebrity tax failures. I believe the IRS prosecutes high profile and celebrity tax cases to make them an example to the rest of the world and to deter would-be tax crooks. And I consider it my little good deed, perhaps my civic duty, to pass the news along to others in the blogosphere. Plus, who doesn’t love a little dirt?
One thing I’ve noticed as I have sought out celebrity tax debt articles is that 99% of these stories are first told by TMZ. Its almost as if the TMZ people have some special IRS hotline — some privileged connection — with the nation’s tax collector. I mention this today because I learned of the untimely death of TMZ’s founder, Jim Paratore. He died of a heart attack yesterday at age 58.
TMZ celebrity tax debt stories are not a good source for in-depth analysis. And sometimes they even get the technical details wrong (I have seen them confuse the concept of “lien” vs. “levy”). But TMZ is fast. I hope they can continue to be first on the scene of these types of cases, even without the founder around.