Tax Racism? Is Al Sharpton Able to Avoid Prison?


Al Sharpton owes back taxes, claimed to be $4 million+, but since neither the IRS or Sharpton has ever released an official amount, it’s unknown how much but it is known he owes some amount. The other three people in this image committed crimes, they didn’t just owe back taxes, and they served time for those crimes, is this a form of tax racism?

Comparing Tax Crimes



Martha Stewart:

“Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison, plus five months of house arrest and two years of probation for lying, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.” thus she did not go to jail for owing back taxes.  [1]


Al Capone:

On June 16, 1931, Al Capone pled guilty to tax evasion and prohibition charges. He then boasted to the press that he had struck a deal for a two-and-a-half year sentence, but the presiding judge informed him he, the judge, was not bound by any deal. Capone then changed his plea to not guilty.

On October 18, 1931, Capone was convicted after trial and on November 24, was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison, fined $50,000 and charged $7,692 for court costs, in addition to $215,000 plus interest due on back taxes. The six-month contempt of court sentence was to be served concurrently. [2]


Leona Helmsley:

A jury convicted Leona M. Helmsley of one count of conspiracy, three counts of tax evasion, three counts of filing false personal tax returns, sixteen counts of assisting in the filing of false corporate and partnership tax returns, and ten counts of mail fraud. The convictions concerned a scheme to charge personal expenditures to various business enterprises that she and her husband owned or controlled. She was sentenced to four years in prison to be followed by three years of probation, fined over $7 million and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $2 million. [3]


Al Sharpton:

Lawyers for the civil rights activist said that Sharpton’s tax tangle won’t result in an indictment or jail time, or even an appearance before a grand jury, though he’s agreed to pay millions in back taxes. Sharpton owes back taxes, not the same thing as tax fraud or tax evasion, and is making payments on it, not even close to the same thing as tax evasion or tax fraud. In Conclusion, Al Shaprton has committed no tax crime. [4]

Sharpton White House

Tax Law: Evasion, Fraud, or Owing Back Taxes?

Generally tax fraud or tax evasion involves an intentional wrongdoing. Mere carelessness is not tax fraud. The IRS decides whether tax fraud has been committed by looking for badges of tax fraud.

Under the federal law of the United States of America, tax evasion or tax fraud, is the purposeful illegal attempt of a taxpayer to evade payment of a tax imposed by the federal government.

Owing back taxes is not a crime. Refusing to pay taxes, not filing taxes, or using offshore tax shelters and other illegal things to avoid paying taxes is illegal

“8. You don’t go to jail if you can’t pay.

In this country, no one goes to jail for owing taxes. You can go to jail for cheating on your taxes and you can go to jail for trying to trick the tax collector, but you can’t go to jail simply because you owe the IRS and can’t pay.”[5]

As a final note, the picture up top showing Al Capone, that is actually a picture of Rod Steiger playing Al Capone in the 1959 film “Al Capone”  not Capone himself. [6]


[1] What Martha Stewart Did Wrong
[2] Al Capone –
3] United States of America, Appellee, v. Leona M. Helmsley, Joseph v. Licari and Frank J. Turco, Defendants,leona M. Helmsley, Defendant-appellant, 941 F.2d 71 (2d Cir. 1991)
4] Feds drop criminal probe of Rev. Al Sharpton’s finances
[5] Ten Things to Remember When You Owe the IRS
6] Rod Steiger – Al Capone On Screen

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