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Michael Jackson's estate hit back at IRS claims

2014-02-11 20:00
Los Angeles - Michael Jackson's estate claim the Internal Revenue Service's tax investigation is grossly flawed.

The late singer's executors have hit back at the IRS after they launched a legal battle in a bid to secure $505m and an additional $197m in penalties, claiming the Thriller hitmaker's assets were grossly undervalued following his death in June 2009.

One point of contention is the estate's original valuation of the pop star's interest in a trust that includes the rights to some of his biggest hits and most of The Beatles back catalogue - including Yesterday, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Get Back - at zero value, while the IRS claimed it was worth $469m.

Now sources close to the star have told TMZ they only put a zero on the tax return because Michael and Sony were 50/50 partners in the catalogue, which had a total net value of $800m.

They claim Michael - who left behind three children Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket - borrowed $320m against the catalogue and owed another $200m in personal debt, so they balanced his $400m in share out at zero.

The estate also believes the IRS is off base when it comes to Michael's likeness and images, which they valued at a mere $2 105 at his time of death compared to the IRS's $434m.

They insist the King of Pop had made no cash from his image in the 15 years running up to his death, because his popularity had been diminished by child sex abuse allegations.

The estate also claims the Jackson 5 music collection is worth $11.2m and not the $45.5m the IRS is suggesting.

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