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Terrence Howard Hit With Federal Order To Pay Nearly $1M In Tax Case

Actor Terrence Howard has been ordered by a federal judge to pay nearly $1 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties.

The action comes after Howard allegedly threatened a Justice Department lawyer and claimed that it is “immoral for the United States government to charge taxes to the descendants of slaves.”

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He stands accused of ignoring IRS efforts to collect $578,000 in income taxes it says he failed to pay between 2010 and 2019.

Howard was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in the film Hustle and Flow, and was the star of the TV hit Empire.

He was sued by the Justice Dept. in 2022 after he reportedly didn’t respond to their requests beyond a voicemail he allegedly left on the phone of the case’s lead tax attorney. In that message, Howard denied owing anything and threatened to post the lawsuit on the internet, thus shaming the attorney.

“Four hundred years of forced labor and never receiving any compensation for it,” the actor said in the message, according to a transcript. “Now you have the gall to try and prosecute and charge taxes to the descendants of a broken people that you are responsible for causing the breakage.”

The recording cut Howard off in midsentence. But he called the attorney back to continue.

“In truth, the entire United States should, by default, become the property of the descendants of slaves,” he said. “But since you do not have the ability [or] the courage to do it, let’s try this in court. … We’re gonna bring you down.”

That was the last response by Howard, the court claimed.

U.S. District Judge John F. Murphy granted the government’s request to enter a $903,115 default judgment against the actor.

This isn’t Howard’s first brush with payments owed to the government.

State tax liens totaling nearly $639,000 were filed against his 2,450-square-foot property in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, in 2005 and 2006. They were settled, according to court records. The IRS also imposed a $1.1 million lien on the property in 2010 for Howard’s failure to pay income taxes in 2007 and 2008.

In 2019, the State of California Franchise Tax Board hit Howard with another lien, alleging he owed $144,000 dating back to 2010.

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