Tax Delinquent: Pamela Anderson Owes California $493K

California says debt makes Anderson a Top 250 tax deadbeat.

ByABC News
February 25, 2010, 2:34 PM

April 13, 2010 — -- The list of celebrities that owes the tax man has just grown a little more glamourous.

Pamela Anderson has been added to California's list of 250 residents with the biggest tax debts. The former Playboy playmate and "Baywatch" star owes state tax authorities $493,144 in unpaid personal income taxes, according to state documents. A lien was filed against her last year.

Anderson's manager and agent did not immediately return calls for comment.

Anderson, who most recently turned heads with a sultry rumba on "Dancing With the Stars," is hardly alone.

Americans owe about $290 billion in back taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The number, which dates back to 2001, is the most recent estimate available. It includes not just those who purposefully fudged their taxes, but also those who may have underreported their income by mistake or who are late on payments.

Judging by news in the gossip rags and elsewhere, a good slice of this debt is owed by celebrities.

"Many times celebrities are the victims of bad advice or incompetency of their tax advisor," says Robert Bernhoft, a lawyer who represents high-profile defendants in disputes with the IRS.

"Because there are fairly large numbers involved, when celebrities get entangled with the IRS it attracts a lot of attention."

With the April 15 tax deadline around the corner, we look a look at some of other widely publicized celebrity tax run-ins.

Wesley Snipes

Famous for his roles in films ranging from Spike Lee's "White Men Can't Jump" to action thrillers such as "Blade," Snipes was convicted of tax fraud in 2008. Jurors concluded that he failed to file taxes on "unreported" gross income of $13 million earned between 1999 and 2001. He was sentenced to three years in prison, but remains free on bail while he appeals.

Nicolas Cage

As one of Hollywood's best-paid actors, with an Oscar for his starring role in "Leaving Las Vegas," Cage has managed to dig himself a pretty deep hole. Cage has been in trouble with the IRS for several years, after what he claims was mismanagement by a former business advisor.

In January Cage told that he still owes the IRS $14 million. To help pay off his bills, Cage has reportedly sold off a wide range of assets, including a 14,300-square-foot Las Vegas mansion.

Meanwhile, a foreclosure auction on his Bel Air home last week found no buyers, the Associated Press reports. Cage set a $10.4 million opening bid on the 12,000-square foot mansion, which is weighed down with $18 milllion by loans.