Michael Jackson's estate in multi-million dollar tax fight with IRS

IRS claim more than $702million is owed

Photo: PA
Michael Jackson's estate have entered a multi-million dollar tax fight with the IRS.

The US tax agency has told the executors of Jackson's estate that they are owed $505million in back taxes and an additional $197million in penalties, bringing the total owed to more than $702million.

According to documents filed with the US Tax Court in Washington, and obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Jackson's people placed his net worth at the time of his death in June 2009 at slightly over $9million. The IRS placed it at $1.125 billion.

The dispute surrounds the value placed on Jackson's likeness - and his rights to some of The Beatles' songs, including 'Yesterday', 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Get Back' - which was valued but his estate at $2,105. The IRS put it at $434.264 million.

Last year, Michael Jackson was named the Top Earning Dead Celebrity by Forbes. The late King Of Pop earned an estimated $160 million (£99 million).

As well as earnings from his own music and his purchase of half of the Sony/ATV catalogue, much of the money earned came from two Michael Jackson-based Cirque du Soleil shows. The touring show Immortal has grossed over $300 million (£185 million) since opening in 2012, while One, which opened in Las Vegas in May and features a hologram of Jackson performing 'Man In The Mirror', is routinely sold out.

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