Grammy award winning hip-hop artist Nelly is apparently in the crosshairs of the IRS. The artist known for hits such as “Country Grammar” and “Hot in Here” has been saddled with an IRS lien for more than $2.4 million. Indeed, Nelly (whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr.) has not been in the limelight for a while, but that does not mean that he has not been collecting royalties and income from his past works.
A recent Forbes.com report indicated that Country Grammar, Nelly’s first album, recently obtained diamond status. This certification means that the album sold more than 10 million units (including digital and physical sales). This means that the IRS will be seeking its portion of the money Nelly received from those sales.
As we have noted in previous posts, the IRS files a Notice of Lien so that it can be publicized that the government will be paid no-matter what happens. A lien stays with a property and is not satisfied until paid off in full. This means that property may not be transferred or sold without the government getting paid.
If you are considering bankruptcy to avoid the lien, chances are that you won’t get particularly far. The bankruptcy code is geared to honor IRS liens before anyone else is paid. So unless you plan on letting property go that can be sold to pay debts, it is likely that the lien will have to be satisfied before any other creditor.
If you have questions about tax liens, an experienced attorney can help.