Michael Jackson’s Estate Challenges IRS in Tax Dispute

Michael Jackson’s estate challenged a tax bill calculated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, arguing that it overvalued assets including real estate, a Bentley automobile and the late singer’s “image and likeness.”

The estate filed a petition in response to an IRS “notice of deficiency” issued in May regarding the estate’s tax return. All amounts in the document were redacted.

The valuations in the estate’s return “were accurate and based upon qualified appraisals by qualified appraisers who had extensive experience in valuing entertainment industry assets,” according to the petition. It was filed July 26 in U.S. Tax Court in Washington by attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, the co-executors of Jackson’s estate.

Paul Hoffman, of Hoffman Sabban & Watenmaker, one of the attorneys filing the suit, declined to discuss the sums in dispute, saying only that “the IRS is wrong.”

Jackson died in June 2009 at age 50. His death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner, who said the singer died of acute propofol intoxication.

Conrad Murray, Jackson’s doctor, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in jail.

In addition to real estate, automobiles and intellectual property, the tax court filing takes issue with IRS valuations of a Lloyds of London “contingency non-appearance and cancellation” policy, Jackson’s share of MJJ Ventures Inc. and two trusts and other personal property.

The case is Estate of Michael J. Jackson v. IRS, 17152-13, U.S. Tax Court (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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