Singer Dionne Warwick owes $2.7 million in state taxes, according to the California Franchise Tax Board, which collects the state's income tax. The IRS has placed more than $1 million in tax liens against her for unpaid federal taxes. Public records show that her tax troubles started in 1990 or earlier.
Since then, Warwick has hosted a popular infomercial for the $3.99-per-minute Psychic Friends Network from 1993 through 1998. She maintains a busy recording and concert schedule, including tours this year in Europe and South America. In January, she was robbed of jewelry worth more than $100,000 in a hotel room in Rome. She performed Saturday near Dallas, her website says.
Why is the government unable to collect all taxes due from a five-time Grammy winner generating significant cash flow?
The IRS and the state of California declined to comment, citing privacy rules. Her manager, Henry Carr, said: "I can't talk about it. Very sorry." Warwick did not respond to a letter requesting comment.
Other well-known delinquents:
Dick Morris: The former political adviser to Bill Clinton is a Fox News analyst. The IRS filed a $1.5 million tax lien against him in 2003. The state of Connecticut reports Morris owes $452,367 in back taxes and penalties.
Morris says he's reached an agreement with Connecticut and his name will be removed from the next delinquency list. He says he is committed to paying his taxes: "Following a difficult period in my life, I fell into arrears. But since then, I have paid almost $3 million in state and federal taxes."
Sinbad: The comedian and actor — whose full name is Sinbad Adkins — owes $2.1 million to the state of California, according to the California Franchise Tax Board. The IRS filed a $416,870 tax lien against him in 2006. Other tax liens against him date to 1994, when he starred in The Sinbad Show on the Fox Network. His recent gigs include performing at last year's Wal-Mart shareholders meeting and Saturday at the Hilton Casino in Atlantic City. Sinbad declined to comment.
Catalina Vásquez Villalpando: The former treasurer of the United States — her signature appears on paper currency printed during the administration of the first President Bush — owes $168,000 in taxes to Washington, D.C., the city reports. She was convicted of tax evasion in 1994 for hiding income while in office and served four months in prison. She did not respond to a request for comment.
O.J. Simpson: The ex-football star, who lives in Florida, owes $1.5 million in California taxes, the state says. Yale Galanter, an attorney for Simpson, says he hasn't been notified of the debt. "Nobody has ever contacted me from the state of California," his attorney, Yale Galanter told The Associated Press. He says Simpson owns no property or assets there.
Tax collection agencies are not permitted to discuss individual cases. They say they are doing the best they can to collect taxes.
"Our collectors are out there every day trying to get this money," says John Barrett, spokesman for the California Franchise Tax Board. He says the state can't seize income earned outside the state. "If someone performs in Lake Tahoe (Nev.), we can't garnish the money," he says. "If they perform in San Francisco, we would be there waiting."