IRS Takes on Action Star Snipes in Court

Tax fraud conviction could net actor up to 16 years in slammer
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2008 5:30 AM CST
Wesley Snipes arrives at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles in this Feb. 8, 2007 photo. Wesley Snipes' federal tax-evasion trial will go forward next month in this central Florida city,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Action movie star Wesley Snipes tomorrow faces his toughest opponent yet: the IRS in a Florida court. Snipes could face up to 16 years in prison if he's convicted of failing to report the $37.9 million he earned between 1999 and 2004, and filing for $11.3 million in allegedly fraudulent refunds for earlier taxes. Snipes' attorney insisted it wasn't fraudulent; it was just Snipes' way of asking the IRS a question.

Charged with Snipes are two tax protesters who ran an aggressive tax accounting firm that later claimed to be a tax-free nonprofit church. They had argued that the federal government only has a right to tax income generated in other countries. Snipes turned to them after his normal accounting firm dropped him, telling him that he had to pay taxes, Reuters reports.