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Aretha Franklin's Estate Pays Off Final $7.8M Debt To IRS — Here's What That Means For Her Sons




The renowned Aretha Franklin's estate has resolved its dispute with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The remaining $7.8 million debt has reportedly been paid in full, according to USA Today.


For Franklin's four sons, who received her estate upon her demise in 2018, this is a big victory. They will now be entitled to benefit from all of her estate's income, which according to one report may total millions of dollars.


Due to the involvement of the IRS, getting access to the affairs of Franklin's estate has been difficult. Her children never saw any of the money she earned from her music or more recent endeavors like the "Respect" movie. Instead, it was given to the government.


AfroTech has already written on how complicated things can become after a star passes away and even mentioned the lengthy procedure it frequently takes before family can see a dollar of the money. Prior to their beneficiaries receiving any benefits, the estates of celebrities like Prince, James Brown, and even "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman all needed to be resolved.


Let's look at how Aretha Franklin's estate can now benefit from her legendary efforts.


Discharge of Debt


The IRS filed a request after Franklin passed away asserting that the late singer owed about $8 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties. They said the money had accumulated over the seven years before her death.


According to the court record submitted by a counsel for the estate, Reginald Turner, the outstanding balance was paid in full on June 17 via a cashier's check.


It was essential to settle the tax bill owed on Franklin's inheritance as soon as possible since the longer it remained unpaid, the more money it would cost in interest and penalties. Her estate struck a settlement with the IRS in which they agreed that 45 percent of any Aretha Franklin earnings would be used to settle the outstanding debt. Another 40% of the money was put into an escrow account to cover taxes on newly acquired income.


Future Steps


Franklin's estate claims that now that the tax burden has been fully paid, all fresh funds must be distributed equally among her four sons. After that, it will be their responsibility to pay taxes.



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