The U.S. Tax Court determined the value of Michael Jackson's assets and image was significantly lower than the IRS's estimation.
The estate of Michael Jackson has earned another victory in court in an ongoing legal battle with the IRS. The Jackson estate won its tax dispute in court when U.S. Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes ruled that the value of Jackson's image and assets were significantly lower than what the IRS stated.
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The judge ruled that Jackson's assets as a whole were valued at $111M when he died in 2009. The IRS estimated that Jackson's assets were worth $482M. The estate's legal team offered several rebuttals against the IRS's claims, explaining that Jackson faced numerous controversies such as the child molestation claims, as well as the overall decline in his popularity, which they said played a role in devaluing the late pop star's worth.
The court also determined a valuation of Jackson's image and likeness which his attorneys argued was $2,105 at the time of his death. While it wasn't as high as the $161M the IRS estimated, the judge seemed confused that the estate was “valuing the image and likeness of one of the best known celebrities in the world — the King of Pop — at the price of a heavily used 20-year-old Honda Civic.” Ultimately, the judge valued his likeness and image at $4.15M. Judge Holmes revealed that a majority of Jackson's assets were from his catalog which stands at $107M.
Jackson estate's co-executors said the judge's ruling “clearly exposes how unreasonable the I.R.S. valuation was and provides a path forward to finally resolve this case in a fair and just manner.”