Published Dec 28, 2018When Aretha Franklin passed away in August, the soul icon left behind an impressive musical legacy. But it also appears she left behind quite the massive tax bill.
On Thursday (December 27), TMZ broke the news that it obtained documents from the IRS claiming the singer owed more than $6.3 million USD in back taxes from 2012 to 2018, as well as $1.5 million USD in penalties.
Franklin's estate quickly responded to the story, with her lawyer explaining it had paid back at least $3 million to the IRS since her death. The estate is currently being audited by the IRS, which filed a claim this month in a county probate court north of Detroit, the Associated Press reports.
"We have a tax attorney. All of her returns have been filed," David Bennett, who represents Franklin's estate, told AP. "We have disputes with the IRS regarding what they claim was income. We claim its double-dipping income because they don't understand how the business works."
He added that Franklin had a lot of expenses whenever she toured, saying, "She had to pay for transportation, hotel rooms, backup singers, musicians. When she did that the IRS was questioning the returns she filed. We're going through audits. Returns were filed as timely as we could get them filed."
As previously reported, Franklin died of pancreatic cancer in August. She was 76.