There’s a pretty powerful moment in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown that summarizes not only the movie, but also the dark, complicated, and unknowable existence of the monied class. It happens right before the credits roll, when the police chief turns to detective J.J. Gittes and says, “Fuhgettabout it J.J. Gittes, this Chinatown place is crazy and makes no sense!” Powerful, powerful stuff. This story about Chris Tucker owing 12 MILLION DOLLARS IN BACK TAXES kind of reminds me of that incredible scene. From TMZ:

Just when it seemed like Chris Tucker’s tax debt couldn’t get any bigger … the government has tacked on another half a million dollars to his already outrageous bill … meaning he’s broken the $12 million tax lien barrier. Congrats?

As TMZ first reported, Tucker is in the hole to Uncle Sam for a whopping $11,571,909.26 for federal taxes from 2001, 2002 and 2004 through 2006. Now it seems the state of Georgia is getting in on the act … recently filing a tax lien of their own against Tucker for $592,594.82 for the year 2007. We’ll save you the time … it comes out to a total of $12,164,504.08.

No way. This is not possible. I call Shaneanigans, TMZ. First of all, no one has ever owed more than 300 dollars in taxes. You can’t owe more than that, because that’s all the money you make in a year. But let’s pretend for a second that you could owe more than 300 dollars: at a certain point, when the amount of taxes you owe is more than, oh, I don’t know, let’s say FIVE MILLION DOLLARS, at that point the IRS should just let you have it because that’s RIDICULOUS. “Good one, dude. You got us!” 12 million dollars in taxes. Incredible. I imagine the IRS dressed in a pair of wrinkled dockers with its hands splayed out on its hips just shaking it’s head in disappointment at Chris Tucker while muttering “come on, man,” softly. Mostly to itself. And then I imagine Chris Tucker on the phone to his agent making a real strong case for why there should finally be a Shanghai Knights 2. His agent is like, “Chris, you weren’t even in the original Shanghai Knights,” and Chris Tucker is like “I owe 12 million dollars in taxes.” Fuhgettaboutit, Chris, it’s Tax Town.

Comments (62)
  1. So, I guess I should just give up waiting for that $8 he owes me for our trip to Sonic last year when he “forgot his wallet”?

  2. I found out just last week out that my wife and I owe $5500+ in taxes. :( (Long story, but basically it was my fault for assuming money was being put aside by my employer that wasn’t.)

    So the silver lining is that at least we don’t owe $12 million. Thank you, Chris Tucker.

    • I can kick in 35 kitten gifs. The IRS accepts kitten gifs, right? (also, ooof! I am sorry to hear that wert!)

    • I don’t know what I would do if I owed $5500. Maybe volunteer the next 55 weekends to wash dishes in the IRS cafeteria?

    • should we start up a “save wertrew from the IRS” type of kickstarter, as pay back for all the hard work he did with his chronicles of the videogum commentating? I can print out my comments and autograph them as a special treat for pledges above a certain dollar amount threshold. I know that’s generous but shouldnt we do something?

      • OK, this has gone on too long, and I have to ask: What is with so many people here calling it “commentating/commentator”? Is that a Videogum inside joke that I’m too much of a sophisticated newborn baby to know about?


        • I know! If only there was someone who documented Videogum inside Jokes. Oh, well, I guess we’ll never know. :(

        • Commentator is a word, and a person commentates just like they may comment or be a commenter.

          We can comment on an article, and we can commentate about an article. Also, we can make comments, and commentate on the comments.

          We can also be commentators of comments just like we can commentate on a blog post. We can also comment on the same things.

          Gabe and Kelly frequently commentate on current events, to which we can commentate as well as comment on.

          With that, I am done commentating on the finer points of commenting and commentating.

      • Winwood, if you set a very low bar at Kickstart, I would contribute some maybe $10-20. Okay probably just $10. No–$15! That’s the price of buying a round of happy hour drinks for me, werttrew and his wife, which I would do if they ever came to town, which they won’t since they can’t afford to leave their house. But now’s my chance! If you do all the hard work. Set a low bar, Winwood.

  3. Well he would have had the money if he hadn’t gotten fired from his job for stealing those boxes.

  4. Well, he has two approaches for what to do with whatever money he currently has:

    1) start paying back the $12 million

    2) buy a lot of Ron Paul bumper stickers


  6. I blame the movie going public for ever putting Chris Tucker in a position where he could owe that much in the first place. Shame on all of us for seeing Chris Tucker movies.

  7. CHRIS: You gotta knock down my debt right away!
    IRS: Man, just sit there and pay up! This ain’t no democracy.
    CHRIS: Yes, it is!
    IRS: No, it ain’t. This is the United States of the IRS. We’re the president, we’re the emperor, we’re the king. We’re Michael Jackson, you Tito. Your ass belongs to US!

  8. “Just when it seemed like Chris Tucker’s tax debt couldn’t get any bigger…”

    Ha, TMZ. I was just saying this to my coworker in our daily chat about Chris Tucker’s finances. I told him, “Listen, there’s no way his tax debt could get bigger. It’s not possible.”

  9. I thought rich people didn’t pay taxes…

  10. Shanghai Knights was Shanghai Noon 2! So it would be Shanghai Noon 3, not Shanghai Knights 2!

  11. He was just bullshittin’ on his tax returns. And the IRS knows that, man!

  12. I always thought that Chris Tucker was the poor man’s Chris Rock, now he’s just a poor man.

  13. $11million of that is belt buckle tax.

  14. Dear Chris,

    Don’t worry, it ain’t all that bad. I was broke and now look at me!


  15. Him and every major bank in the country!

  16. “Another one of our heroes goes down” -Ludacris

  17. Chris Tucker owes me twenty billion dollars for that piece of shit movie the fifth element, woof that was so very very bad

  18. Mistake #1: Hiring Wesley Snipes to be his accountant.

  19. so wait…is Chris Tucker the 99%?

  20. Sounds like someone will be in the market for some info tapes.

  21. well… at least chris tucker is relevant again, in the worst possible way. looks like hes going to have to dig himself out of debt nic cage style – selling out completely and making terrible, terrible movies.

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