Song and dance man Ben Vereen has done a lot of stuff — Broadway, TV, films — but he’ll always be “Webster’s” uncle to me. He easily ranks among the Top Five Nicest Celebrities with Tax Woes, behind Bo Duke, the Queen of Soul, a former Detroit Lions QB and Beyonce’s dad.
Vereen, 64, didn’t deny or complain about his $931,000 tax debt.
- The IRS filed a $60,416 lien against Vereen on July 7 with the New York City Register.
- The IRS filed an $816,297 lien on Oct. 9, 2009, with the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds.
- The state of California filed a $53,234 lien Sept. 25, 2009, in Sacramento County Court.
- The state of California filed a $1,268 lien May 27, 2009, in Sacramento.
Vereen blamed the tax debt on a former business manager. He was unaware taxes weren’t being paid until several years ago and is working to pay the government.
“I’m embarrassed I’m in this situation,” he said. “I never wanted to cheat or be in this situation with my government. I love my country.”
Vereen said he focused on his career, assuming his taxes were being paid.
“Sometimes artists have people handling us, and we are so busy doing our art we don’t look at the business,” he said.”I take responsibility for not being watchful and not asking the right questions. I’m a patriot. I’m working as fast as I can to pay it off. It’s important for me with our country going through an economic upheaval.”