Aretha Franklin Allegedly Owes IRS Nearly $8 Million

Aretha Franklin allegedly owes more than $6.3 million in back taxes from 2012 to 2018, as well as $1.5 million in penalties.

Aretha Franklin in DC

Image via Getty/Molly Riley

Aretha Franklin in DC

You have heard the old adage which states that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Apparently, the latter can still haunt you in the afterlife. TMZ has learned that the IRS has claimed that Aretha Franklin owes them nearly $8 million in back taxes, stemming from 2012 to 2018, in addition to a penalty of $1.5 million. Reps for Aretha claim that the tax lien was due to several audits conducted the last six years. 

“The IRS has filed its Proof of Claim in the ordinary course of the Estate proceeding. This is not a liquidated claim and it is disputed by the Estate,” David Bennett, attorney for Franklin's estate, responded. “The vast majority of Ms. Franklin's personal 1040 tax obligations were paid prior to her death - something she wished to occur. The Estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues."

The Queen of Soul passed away on August 16 at the age of 76 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

The late singer’s lawyer Gregory Reed filed paperwork in October, demanding $54,000 from her estate to cover bills dating back six years. The claims from Reed and the IRS appear to indicate that Aretha’s life took a financial downturn starting in 2012. Reed’s firm alleges in legal documents that they helped negotiate her final contract with Atlantic Records, which fittingly made its last payment of $10,000 in August 2012. 

If these legal matters weren’t enough, a publishing company is seeking the $136,000 owed to them for royalties over the 1973 song "Angel."

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