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Jodie Sweetin Pays IRS $53K in Back Taxes

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on January 07, 2014 9:25 AM

Jodie Sweetin, otherwise known as Stephanie Tanner from "Full House," rang in the new year by paying off all of the taxes she owed to the IRS. She's done Uncle Sam (and probably Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey) proud.

Maybe we're seeing wholesome remnants of our favorite middle child?

Celebrity Tax Problems

The 31-year-old found herself in a sticky situation with the IRS after they discovered she failed to pay $53,626.29 in income tax back in 2009, reports TMZ.

As we saw from Sweetin, many people fail to pay their taxes. Celebrities are no exception. Take Lauryn Hill for example, who went to prison for evading her taxes, owing more than $1.8 million in unpaid income taxes. Then there's Manny Pacquiao, the world-renowned boxer who is fighting a battle on two shores over a tax debt of about $68 million -- $18 million of which is owed to the US of A.

Fortunately, because the United States tax system is based on taxpayers willingly honoring their obligations, the IRS does what it can to encourage nonfilers to voluntarily come forward after a period of not paying taxes. It's only when taxpayers willfully avoid paying taxes -- ahem, Wesley Snipes -- when things take a turn for tax evasion.

That's good news for celebrities, who have notoriously complicated tax obligations.

Tax Calculation Issues

Celebrities often have it rough when it comes to taxes. When us normal 9-to-5 folks get our paychecks, the taxes (both state and federal) are already removed. But if you get paid in royalties or checks for each performance, those checks usually don't have taxes removed. Ideally, celebrities are supposed to set aside tax money to pay when April 15 rolls around.

They're also supposed to pay estimated taxes four times a year based on their income. That's also the rule of thumb for freelancers, small business owners, and other self-employed people.

It's possible that Sweetin lost track of her tax obligations related to her "Full House" royalties and other sources of income when she was in the throes of drug addiction and a divorce. Now that she's kicked her drug habit and made good on her taxes, here's hoping she pays what she owes every tax season. If not, the IRS may borrow a classic Stephanie Tanner line and exclaim, "How rude!" -- and then come after her.

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