Michael Jackson's Heirs Have Not Received Any Money Amid Estate's IRS Dispute
The beneficiaries of the King of Pop’s trusts, specifically his children, have money tied up for past three years as executors and IRS battle over audit
MAY 31 AT 9:42 AM
The beneficiaries of Michael Jackson's trust -- specifically the King of Pop's children and Jackson's mother, Katherine -- have not received any money amid a three-year dispute between the IRS and the late singer's estate.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Jackson estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain rejected a bid by the beneficiaries to have some funds released, with the executors citing the ongoing audit by the IRS.
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Back in 2021, the IRS issued a note of deficiency, claiming that the Jackson estate "undervalued its assets" and owed "an additional $700 million in taxes and penalties." The estate and the IRS have volleyed about the audit over the past three years, with the situation exacerbated by legal in-fighting between 93-year-old Katherine Jackson and Michael's youngest son, Bigi "Blanket" Jackson.
In March, Bigi sued his own grandmother in an attempt to stop her from using estate funds to pay her lawyer fees in relation to her attempt to prevent the $600 million sale of Jackson's music assets to industry giant Sony; Bigi had sided with the executors over the catalog deal, and a judge ruled the estate could proceed with the sale.
"We wouldn't be here if the estate wasn't trying to punish Katherine Jackson for having the temerity to challenge their actions. If this was attorney fees incurred to handle some other piece of litigation, they would have paid," Katherine's lawyer, Adam Pines, argued in March. "What the executors appear to be doing is waiting for Mrs. Jackson to pass away."
The estate's stay on doling out payments to the beneficiaries will likely continue through the sale and until executors have a fuller grasp on what the estate is actually worth, information the IRS is waiting on before submitting a final tax bill, Entertainment Weekly reports.
However, in a statement to Rolling Stone, the Jackson estate called the report "entirely misleading and wrong." "In annual reports provided to the probate court, which are publicly available, anyone can see that the Estate provides Michael's Mother and children with very substantial amounts of money to support them," a spokesperson for the Jackson estate said. "The Estate has a very cooperative relationship with Michael's children and whenever they need anything, the Estate works with them to ensure that they are very well taken care of, just as Michael would have wanted."
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