Whitney Houston’s Estate Strikes $2M Tax Deal with IRS

The estate of the late award-winning singer and actress Whitney Houston has reportedly reached a deal with the Internal Revenue Service to pay $2,275,366 in taxes, far less than the $11.7 million the IRS said it was owed.

Houston’s estate was initially ordered to pay $11 million (plus interest) in 2012, shortly after the artist died at the age of 48. The IRS concluded the estate had “underreported the singer’s royalties, residuals, and value of her image by $22.6 million.” The estate, however, claimed the feds’ calculations were incorrect and insisted Houston’s “music royalties, digital performance royalties, motion picture, and TV residuals, and publicity rights” were worth $11.7 million.

Houston’ daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown was initially named the sole beneficiary of her estate but then died in 2015 at the age of 22. Bobbi Kristina Brown’s estate has been the subject of a separate dispute among various family members who are also celebrated singers, including her father, Bobby Brown, and grandmother Cissy Houston.

Getting the IRS to agree on the value of an estate does not only affect famous musicians and celebrities. It’s true very few of us will have to deal with the marketability of our name and likenesses after death. -But even so, making sure appraisals of stocks, real estate, businesses, or any other tangible assets are defensible can make all the difference when it comes to sailing swiftly through a potential audit – and maybe even avoiding one altogether.