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Aretha Franklin’s Attorney Says Singer’s Estate Has Paid $3 Million in Back Taxes

Aretha Franklin. (Matthew Jordan Smith)
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(CelebrityAccess) – Aretha Franklin’s estate has paid at least $3 million in back taxes to the IRS since her passing in August, according to the Associated Press.

The IRS filed the claim this month in Oakland County Probate Court in Pontiac.

Earlier this week, TMZ reported that legal documents it obtained showed the IRS claimed the singer owes more than $6.3 million in back taxes from 2012 to 2018 and $1.5 million in penalties.

David Bennett, attorney for Franklin’s estate, told AP that the estate was being audited by the IRS in connection to a dispute over what each party claimed was income. He went on to suggest that Franklin’s touring expenses from the period in question––things like transportation, hotel rooms, backup singers, and musicians––should be seen as “double-dipping income” and therefore not taxable under the same terms as the singer’s regular income.

Bennett also told AP that the dispute stems from the fact that the IRS doesn’t “understand how the [music] business works,” and that Franklin’s returns were filed in as timely a manner as possible.

Franklin died earlier this year of pancreatic cancer. She was 76. According to AP, at the time of her death, she owned a home in Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township.

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