Aretha Franklin’s Estate Owes $6M+ in Back Taxes, Says IRS

The estate of Aretha Franklin owes the federal government more than $6.3 million in unpaid income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The Queen of Soul died of pancreatic cancer in August and left behind no will for her estimated $80 million estate. The IRS “proof of claim” filings entered Dec. 12 and 19 say the amount owed is cumulative, beginning with an unpaid assessed balance of $1,305,403 in December 2012 and including $552,718 due by the end of this year. The filing says “no part of this debt has been paid and it is now due and payable to the United State Treasury at the Office of the Internal Revenue Service” and adds, “this debt has priority and must be paid in full in advance of distribution to creditors to the extent provided by law.” The estate’s attorney, David Bennett, said: “This is not a liquidated claim, and it is disputed by the estate. The vast majority of Ms. Franklin’s personal 1040 tax obligations were paid prior to her death—something she wished to occur. The estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues.”