Country Music Star Who Wrote “Take This Job and Shove It” Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion in Federal Court
David Allan Coe, the legendary country music singer/song-writer made famous by anthem “Take This Job and Shove It,” has pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax evasion in court.
The 76-year-old reportedly owes the IRS at least $466,000 for back taxes going back as far as 1993. Between 2008 and 2013, Coe either failed to file a tax return, or when he did, he failed to pay the taxes he owed, according to court documents. He faces up to 3 years in prison for the federal charges of tax evasion, and still owes the back taxes, along with interests and penalties – which could add up to an additional $250,000.
Coe performed at least 100 concerts in the U.S. between 2008 and 2013, and did not pay income appropriately in those performances. He also owes money from prior years of failing to file or failing to pay income tax to the IRS.
The U.S. Attorney General’s office released a statement claiming that, rather than pay his income taxes, Coe spent the money he earned from live performances “on other debts and gambling.”
The case went to court in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Coe reportedly received income via MoneyGram transfers in 2011 and 2012. He also used a Cincinnati-based accounting firm to prepare his taxes, and in 2009 filed his income tax in that city.
“Coe’s arrangement to be paid primarily in cash was also in an effort to impede the ability of the IRS to collect on the taxes owed,” the news release said.
However, he stopped receiving money wired by MoneyGram in 2009 when he received a message about the income from the IRS. This prevented the IRS from levying his bank account in order to retrieve the federal taxes.
Instead, Coe arranged with his road manager to be paid in cash for his concerts. He sometimes received bonuses in cash from the concerts as well, which he never claimed.
Court documents state that he willfully failed to pay income taxes for several years. Coe currently owes the IRS $388,190.94 for the 2009 income tax year, $35,640.10 for the 2011 income tax year and $42,733.82 for the 2013 income tax year. He filed income tax returns in 2009, 2011, and 2013, but failed to pay the amount listed. He also owes restitution for his 2008 and 2010 income tax returns, but that amount will be determined at a later date, according to the IRS.
“All taxpayers, regardless of their profession, must comply with their federal tax obligations,” said special agent Kathy Enstrom from the IRS Cincinnati Field Office. “As is evident from Mr. Coe’s guilty plea, schemes to evade the payment of taxes are a violation of the Federal Tax laws and postpones the eventual need to comply at an even higher cost, including federal criminal prosecution and having to pay back taxes with interest and steep penalties.” Sentencing for his income tax evasion guilty plea will occur at a later date.