Terrence Howard Ordered to Pay Almost $1 Million in Back Taxes, Says Taxing Descendants of Slaves is ‘Immoral’

When the Justice Department sued the actor in 2022 over the issue, he left an angry voicemail for the lead tax lawyer on the case.

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Terrence Howard owes quite a bit of money to the IRS.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a federal judge in Philadelphia has ordered the Oscar-nominated actor to pay $903,115 in back taxes. Prior to the judgment, the IRS spent a year attempting to collect $578,000 in income taxes from Howard, for the years 2010 to 2019.

The Justice Department took this matter to court in 2022. The legal action prompted him to leave a heated voicemail for the tax attorney at the helm of the case last November, saying that it was “immoral for the United States government to charge taxes to the descendants of slaves.”

“Four hundred years of forced labor and never receiving any compensation for it,” Howard said in the message, per a court transcript. “Now you have the gall to try and prosecute and charge taxes to the descendants of a broken people that you are responsible for causing the breakage.”

He also left a second voicemail: “In truth, the entire United States should, by default, become the property of the descendants of slaves. But since you do not have the ability [or] the courage to do it, let’s try this in court. … We’re gonna bring you down.”

Howard never responded to the lawsuit. Tax problems aren’t new for Howard, who reportedly lives in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Back in 2010, the IRS put a $1.1 million lien on his property for unpaid taxes from 2007 and 2008. Several years later, in 2019, a criminal probe was opened into him and his wife, Mira Pak for tax evasion.

Perhaps being underpaid has something to do with Howard's troubles. In December, the 54-year-old spoke out about being underpaid while on Empire, and said he would be suing CAA for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. He also revealed in an interview last year that he was only paid $12,000 for the Oscar-winning film, Hustle & Flow.

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