Beware the ides of April. Even before that date, paperwork piles up for taxes. Even when the volume of numbers isn’t a pain, sometimes they can hide unpleasant surprises. One shocking surprise lies with Willie Nelson’s finances. It turns out Willie Nelson and the IRS are something like ancestral rivals and the financial baggage between them is enormous.
You wouldn’t know by watching Nelson handle it, though. Grunge reports that Nelson made the most out of anytime the IRS brought him in to settle the score. He even had fun with it and signed autographs on the side. That might be a surprising scene by itself, but the amount Nelson owed the government is actually even more shocking.
Willie Nelson versus the IRS
Taxes can go by quickly or snowball into a massive migraine. Everyone wants to keep what they can of their hard-earned cash while saving responsibly for a comfortable future. It’s a difficult balance that’s made harder by tax season as a whole.
Those with insane wealth generally give more up for tax season in a way that’s proportionate to their finances. But even taking this trend into account, Willie Nelson owed the IRS an incomprehensible amount. By the agency’s estimates, the singer racked up $32 million in money owed. Eventually, they seized his assets. That brought the bill down a bit… to a mere $16.7 million. Reportedly, he knew this seizure was likely and sent his guitar far away to stay safe.
It’s not all deliberate debt, though
Sending his guitar Trigger to Hawaii was a calculated move. But this deliberate safety measure doesn’t fully represent how Nelson allocates his resources. As of last year, at least, his money stopped going towards smoking since he ditched the habit, according to CNN.
Additionally, he spends the money on noble causes. One such cause included rescuing seventy horses to keep safely on his ranch. When he’s not spending money on the good, the bad, and the absurd, he’s keeping himself busy with his career. He’s made a significant contribution to the music world, so it’s still incredible to think he would owe that much.