Talk about being deep in debt. Comedy superstar Steve Harvey discovered in 2008 that he owed the IRS an astronomical $25 million.
“My old tax accountant, who passed, had done some, let’s say, not so smart things,” recalled Harvey in a recent interview with Earn Your Leisure podcast. “And since he’s not alive anymore, and I don’t slam people who are gone, so let’s just say some bad things were done, and I looked up, and I was in a lot of trouble to the tune of almost $25 million.”
He added, “They were cashing the checks, keeping the money, and not turning in the tax forms….They didn’t cash it; they took the money out [of] the account that matched the exact number.”
The newly married Harvey was not only concerned he could lose his money and possessions but also his wife, Yahoo reported.
Harvey reportedly owns properties in multiple locations including Atlanta, Texas, and Chicago.
“I sat my wife down, and she cried, and I held her, and I told her it was going to be all right; I was going to get us out,” he said.
In 2022, Steve Harvey has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
Here are three things to know about how he dug himself out of a massive hole.
Harvey went to work to make the money to pay the IRS back. An actor, author, TV and radio personality, Harvey is famous for his observational humor inspired by situations in his own life. He later became known for his self-help advice, especially about relationships.
“I just went to work,” he said. “I took every gig and every contract, and I worked and worked. I hung in there, and I had a big deal come through in 2012 and I got free. And it’s been OK ever since.”
Among the gigs, Harvey hosted Miss Universe Pageant for six years and became the permanent host of the TV game show “Family Feud” in 2010. He also hosted “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” and “Celebrity Family Feud.”
He wrote several relationship books, including “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,” which was turned into two movies starring Kevin Hart.
At least $10 million of his nearly $45 million annual income comes from his “Family Feud” job, Black Enterprise reported. His radio hosting gig brings in another $20 million.
Harvey paid $650,000 a month to the IRS for seven years, Audio Boom reported. Of course, Harvey was not only paying off his debt but the interest and penalties on that debt as well.
The late-filing penalty is usually 5 percent of the tax you owe for each month or partial month that your return is late. This applies up to a maximum of 25 percent of the tax owed, according to tax preparation firm H&R Block.
In 2020, the IRS collected $3.71 trillion from tax payments.
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Harvey created the nationally syndicated radio program in 2000. The show was distributed in broadcast syndication by NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution, according to a press release.
In 2011, NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution sold the talk show, “Steve Harvey,” to NBC Owned Television Stations for its Fall 2012 debut.
A deal in 2012 — the sale of his radio network — gave Harvey enough funds to pay off the IRS. “It was a lot of money, and it saved me,” he said. The amount of the sale was undisclosed.
Photo: Steve Harvey poses for a portrait on Sept. 17, 2020 in Atlanta. Harvey says his daytime talk show being canceled by NBC opened up new doors with Facebook Watch. The comedian launched “Steve on Watch” on the streaming platform. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP)/Photo: Credit:hapabapa . istock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/hapabapa?mediatype=photography