Michael Jackson Estate Receives Win In Tax Court After His Likeness Is Valued $4.1 Million
While he may have died back in 2009, Michael Jackson‘s estate just received a favorable ruling in a long-drawn-out legal battle.
For the past four years, Michael Jackson‘s estate has been in a court battle with the IRS over how much the King of Pop’s image and likeness were worth at the time of his passing. The significance of this determination is that it would directly affect how much his estate would owe the IRS in taxes. This legal battle mainly resulted from disagreements over the value of Michael Jackson‘s stakes in various music publishing companies.
Initially, the IRS claimed that Jackson‘s image and likeness were worth $434 Million at the time of his passing. However, the King of Pop’s estate claimed that his image was worth only around $2,000 when he died. This large disparity is on account of Michael Jackson‘s estate claiming that the well-known child molestation accusations levied against the popstar severely damaged his image, which failed to fully recover.
However, U.S. Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes ruled largely in favor of Jackson’s estate by determining that the popstar’s likeness was worth $4.15 Million when he died–much closer to his estate’s estimate rather than the IRS’s. Regarding his ruling, Mark Holmes stated:
“There were certainly years when he was the most well-known popular-music star, and even after his death there have been years when he was the world’s highest-earning entertainer. But there were also many years when he was more famous for his unusual behavior and not his unusual talent. And there were some years where his fame was turned infamous by serious accusations of the most noisome acts.”
Acknowledging people’s public perception of Jackson at the time of his death, Mark Holmes concluded:
“[S]tigma is reflected in his lack of endorsements or merchandise agreements unrelated to a musical tour or album from 1993 until his death.”
Commenting on the news of the ruling, Jackson’s estate released a statement which referred to the conclusion as:
“[A] thoughtful ruling by the U.S. Tax Court [that] is a huge, unambiguous victory for Michael Jackson’s children.”
It looks like the four-year-long battle between the Jackson estate and the IRS has left the estate victorious!
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