Kirstie Alley gets charged interest and penalties on her property tax bill

kirstie ally taxesJune 20, 2011 Kirstie Alley's tax team received a call from Chad McLeod, the Tampa, Florida, property tax collector who was asking for the $41,395.00 she owes on her home. Kirstie Alley's tax team says Tampa couldn't have sent the bill, because they never received it. Once hearing the news, some fans were concerned her mansion (formerly owned by Lisa Maria Presley), valued at nearly $2 million, would be subject to foreclosure (it isn't the first time a celebrity has faced losing their home because of taxes. How about Lisa Maria Presley's ex, Nic Cage?) However, even though a municipality can take legal action to acquire possession of your home for non-payment of property taxes, that doesn't seem to be the issue with Kirstie. Now that Kirstie is aware of the tax due she says she is ready to pay the property tax bill in full. McLeod confirmed that he did receive a verbal commitment to pay from Kirstie's spokesperson on June 9. It is plausible that Kirstie didn't even know this was going on in Florida as she has been staying in an apartment in New York. 

Tax tips
1. Just because you didn't receive a tax bill in the mail doesn't mean you won't owe taxes. Same goes if your accountant or representative didn't receive a bill. Consider that mail does get lost and that human errors do occur. If you don't receive your annual bill be sure to follow up with the tax office long before the tax is actually due.
2. Remember that when you owe back taxes you aren't going to just pay the principal amount. Every tax authority, whether federal/state/or local, will charge interest. Rates and penalty amounts will vary from locality to locality, with some of them making the math easy on themselves and simply making the penalizing fee and interest rate the same amount.

Federal income tax penalties and interest charges.
-In the case of federal taxes, the IRS says their interest policy works like this:
-The interest rate is determined quarterly.
-The interest rate will be the federal short-term rate plus 3 percent.
-Interest is compounded daily.
-The maximum failure to file penalty is 5% per month up to 25% of the unpaid tax due.(5% for up to 5 months)
-The maximum "failure to pay" penalty is 0.5% per month up to 25% of the tax due. (0.5% for up to 50 months)
-An "accuracy-related penalty" is generally 20% of the underpayment amount.
Sources: irs.com & Income Tax Planning for Financial Planners, 4th Edition

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