It turns out that Sinbad is broke.
The comedian declared bankruptcy on December 11th of this year, a day after the IRS came after him for $8.15 million in bad debts. In the court filing, the actor claimed that he has only $50,000 in assets, but $10 - $50 million dollars in liabilities.
Sinbad, whose real name is David Adkins, was a big star during the 1980s and 1990s, starting his career on 'Star Search' and starring later in the film 'House Guest.' He is 53-years old.
The actor's tax troubles are not uncommon for folks in Hollywood, as many other black celebrities
, including the great Redd Foxx, Wesley Snipes and Joe Louis have been among those who've found themselves having problems with the IRS. But tax trouble can also affect the rest of us if we are not careful. Here are some tips to avoid tax problems:
1) Always save money:
Your future income may never be as high as you think. Many celebs started off balling and thought that the money would keep flowing. I am sure that Sinbad thought that his personal gravy train would continue long after the movie 'House Guest,' but the 'House Guest' money probably ran out a long time ago.
2) Be truthful:
Don't lie about your income or deductions. It's just not worth it and the IRS comes hard for their money.
3) File your return on time and pay on time:
Not filing your taxes is a serious offense. Make sure you send something in every year. If you owe a debt, either pay immediately or get a payment arrangement.
4) Respond to IRS claims immediately:
The IRS is very powerful, so not responding to them can lead to criminal charges. You don't want them to be mad at you.
We should not judge the celebs who have tax problems, we should learn from them. Be smart, be careful and save your dough. You never know when the government will come knocking.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, "Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good." To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.