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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Queen of the Blues’ Can’t Get a Tax Break in Court

(CN) - Two-time Grammy-winning blues singer Cora "Koko" Taylor, 80, has something to sing about with a U.S. Tax Court ruling that could force her to sell her home and vehicles to pay a tax liability of more than $200,000.

Taylor's lawyers argued that because of her advanced age, two heart attacks and ongoing medical problems, the "Queen of the Blues" was justified in not paying her taxes for 1998, 2000 and 2001 on time.

The tax court rejected the claims, citing Taylor's extensive touring schedule as evidence of her sound health and ability to pay.

Judge Marvel also cast aside both parties' frequent references to Taylor's "stature as a beloved and well-known professional singer."

"We disagree with both parties ... that a taxpayer's celebrity status is somehow relevant to what this Court must do in deciding whether the Commissioner's collection action may proceed," Marvel wrote.

"Every taxpayer, no matter how famous or notorious, has a legal obligation to honestly report and pay his or her income tax liability each year."

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