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Terrence Howard Announces Lawsuit Against CAA Over "Empire" Salary

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A federal judge has ordered Terrence Howard to pay nearly $1 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties after The Best Man actor was sued by the Justice Department in 2022.

According to Deadline, Howard was accused by the Justice Department of dodging the IRS’s efforts to collect $578,000 in income taxes he failed to pay between 2010 and 2019. But Howard doesn’t appear to believe he owes the IRS a dime because it’s “immoral” for the U.S. to take any tax money at all from the descendants of enslaved people.

Plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit alleged that Howard ignored requests by the Justice Department for him to pay what he owed, and he was also accused of explaining to the lead tax attorney in the case via voicemail that he didn’t owe anything and he threatened to post the lawsuit online to expose the injustice.

From Deadline:

“Four hundred years of forced labor and never receiving any compensation for it,” the actor said in the message, according to a transcript. “Now you have the gall to try and prosecute and charge taxes to the descendants of a broken people that you are responsible for causing the breakage.”

The recording cut Howard off in midsentence. But he called the attorney back to continue.

“In truth, the entire United States should, by default, become the property of the descendants of slaves,” he said. “But since you do not have the ability [or] the courage to do it, let’s try this in court. … We’re gonna bring you down.”

That was the last response by Howard, the court claimed.

Yeah—whether the Hustle and Flow actor has a point or not, he should have known that wasn’t going to work.

Instead, U.S. District Judge John F. Murphy granted the DOJ’s request to enter a $903,115 default judgment against Howard, who, by the way, has been in this situation before.

More from Deadline:

State tax liens totaling nearly $639,000 were filed against his 2,450-square-foot property in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, in 2005 and 2006. They were settled, according to court records. The IRS also imposed a $1.1 million lien on the property in 2010 for Howard’s failure to pay income taxes in 2007 and 2008.

In 2019, the State of California Franchise Tax Board hit Howard with another lien, alleging he owed $144,000 dating back to 2010.

Eventually, Howard is going to have to come to glory on the fact that the government isn’t just going to turn the other cheek when he decides his status as a descendant of slavery exempts him from paying taxes. It’s a nice thought and all, but reality will trump that fantasy every time.

Social media is hilariously agreeing with his stance. See the reactions below.

Terrence Howard Owes Nearly $1 Million In Back Taxes, Says It’s “Immoral” To Tax Descendants Of Slaves  was originally published on


















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