Aretha Franklin’s estate settles with IRS over $7.8M tax debt

The estate reportedly owed more than $6.3M back in 2018

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According to multiple reports, Aretha Franklin’s estate has settled it’s $7.8M tax debt with the IRS

Back in 2018, The Detroit News reported that Franklin owed more than $6.3M in back taxes when she passed. According to Franklin’s estate, however, at least $3M was already paid before she died.

In 2018, estate representative David Bennett said, “The IRS has filed its proof of claim in the ordinary cause of the estate’s proceeding…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.”

Aretha Franklin
The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin performs at The Fox Theatre on March 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The Fox Theatre)

Read More: Jennifer Hudson on competing Aretha Franklin project: ‘If it’s not a film, it’s nothing’

According to the Detroit Free Press, “In a major breakthrough, Franklin’s four sons and the IRS have reached an agreement that would speed up payment of the remaining tax burden — while giving the sons an injection of money from their late mother’s fortune.” Franklin’s sons reportedly have received no money from the estate since her death due to the issue with the IRS.

According to a petition filed Feb. 19 in Oakland County Probate Court, “the proposed arrangement includes an immediate $800,000 payment to the IRS, though the estate continues to dispute the overall balance owed.”

According to the IRS, the current balance is $4.75M. A final IRS bill will be determined “by agreement or litigation.”

The deal now calls for “45% of quarterly revenue to go toward the existing IRS balance.” Fifteen percent of the revenue will go to managing the estate, while another 40% will “be directed to an escrow account to handle future taxes on the newly generated income.”

Also under the deal, each of Franklin’s sons (Clarence, Edward, Teddy and Kecalf) will receive immediate $50K payments. According to The Detroit Free Press, the order “must be approved by Judge Jennifer Callaghan to take effect.”

Franklin’s sons may have resolved the tax issues with the estate, but have recently spoken out against MGMs new Franklin biopic, Respect.

As theGrio’s Dawn Onley previously reported, Franklin’s son Kecalf wrote on Facebook,  “How can you make a movie about a person and not talk to the person’s sons or grandchildren about important information? If you are a “real” fan of my mothers, please do not support this. Ask yourself…would you want this done to you?”

Getty Images

Read More: ‘Respect’ and ‘Genius: Aretha’ release dates delayed by coronavirus

While the family is against the film, they are fine with Jennifer Hudson portraying the Queen of Soul. Kecalf wrote, “side note: the “ONLY” person my mother was in favor of for the movie was JENNIFER HUDSON. period. Everything else is being done against our wishes.” 

Respect is set to be released in August 2021.

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