Bruce Springsteen Evaded Taxman at Start of Career
Bruce Springsteen evaded paying taxes for several years during the early part of his career.
The 67-year-old opened up about the financial problems that landed him in hot water with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during a candid talk with Tom Hanks at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on Friday.
Springsteen was targeted by the IRS in the 1970s, after he featured on the front of Time magazine.
“First of all, I never met anyone in New Jersey who paid any taxes! We never paid any taxes. The entire state wasn’t paying any taxes,” the “Born to Run” rocker said.
“Then when we got with (manager) Mike Appel. He was handling all our business and his thing was, ‘We’re not paying any f*****g taxes.’ So, years went by and… all of this time went by. Nobody’s paying taxes – me, the band, no one I know.”
As Springsteen and his E Street Band became increasingly successful, the IRS started to pay attention to their accounts, and eventually the rocker was forced to pay back what he owed.
“Finally, some guy at the IRS must’ve got smart and said, ‘Who is this guy on the cover of this magazine? Let’s see what he’s doing,'” The Boss joked. “They came after us and I had to work for a couple years for somebody else every night.”
Accordingly, Springsteen had around $20,000 to his name by the time he was 30.
“Not only did I have to pay all the taxes that I hadn’t paid, and then bills that I hadn’t paid – I wasn’t paying any bills either… and then we made records that were expensive, because we didn’t know how to make records,” he said.
“This went on ’til 1980. In 1980, I think I had about $20,000 to my name, which sounded like a lot of money when I was 20. But when you’re 30 and you’ve been doing it for a while…”
However, the rock legend has learned his lesson, and as for his taxes today, Springsteen quipped: “I pay ’em now.”