In the late 90s and early 2000s, Scott Stapp and his band, Creed, topped charts with songs like “Higher” and “With Arms Wide Open.” The band sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, making frontman Stapp a millionaire who at the height of his popularity had an estimated net worth between $10 and $30 million.
What a difference a few years can make.
Recently, Stapp shocked fans by posting a 15-minute video to his Facebook page, claiming that he’s now broke and homeless.
In the odd clip, shot in black and white, Stapp addressed his fans directly; assuring fans that he is drug-free and sober. However, recent papers filed in a divorce proceeding by Stapp’s estranged wife, Jaclyn Stapp, tell a different story: in the divorce petition, Jaclyn Stapp claimed that Stapp had recently been taking a number of drugs, including amphetamines, crystal meth and steroids.
Stapp is no stranger to addiction, having admitted to abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs in the past, but insists that his current problems have nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Instead, he says in the video, during “an audit of my record and my personal finances… a lot of things were uncovered.” Stapp goes on to claim that “a lot of money was stolen from me” and “all hell broke loose.”
Included in Stapp’s litany of accusations is his claim that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has frozen his bank accounts on a number of occasions. Stapp says that the accounts were frozen “all of the sudden” – although it’s important to understand that the IRS doesn’t freeze your bank account or take your money without proper notice. The seizure is referred to as a levy and it’s rarely a surprise when it happens.
For the IRS properly levy you, the IRS must first issue an assessment, explaining that tax is owed. Next, the IRS sends a Notice and Demand for Payment. If you don’t respond to that Notice, the IRS then sends a Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to A Hearing (“Final Notice”) at least 30 days before the levy. It is the non-response to the Final Notice (which is sent by certified mail) that now gives the IRS the green light to start levy action.
Levies can be placed on tax refunds, wages, bank account or other property. If the levy causes a hardship, you can ask that it be lifted – although any tax obligation would remain in place.
Stapp says, however, that when he called the IRS to find out what happened to the money, he was told, “Oh we had an address mix-up, it was a clerical error, so we’ll return your funds in 9-10 months.” That seems unlikely but Stapp maintains that is what happened. He goes on to say, in the video, “I don’t understand how that’s fair in America, in the country that we live in.”
When a bank levy is issued, the IRS allows up to 21 days before the frozen funds must be released by the bank to the IRS. The purpose of allowing this amount of time is to allow a taxpayer to show to the IRS the hardship such a seizure would cause or raise other defenses such as the levy was somehow wrongful. If the IRS agrees, the funds would be promptly unfrozen – not take 9 to 10 months as Stapp so claims he was told.
Stapp also claims that his banks accounts have been hacked and someone has changed his online passwords and transferred all of the money out of his bank accounts.
A bank levy by IRS attaches to whatever funds are in your account on the date of the levy notice. If you have outstanding checks which have not yet cleared the bank, those checks would now not be honored by the bank as the account is now frozen; however, any funds deposited after the date of the levy notice would not be subject to the freeze. If there was nothing in Stapp’s bank accounts when the levy was issued, there would be nothing for the bank to freeze for the IRS.
Stapp says, “Between IRS attacking me… between the banks basically saying ‘yeah, all of your money has been taken out of your accounts’,” he has no money. He has, he says, been living in the Holiday Inn and has been forced to sleep in his truck. He has no money for food and as a result, ended up in the emergency room.
Stapp says he is looking for an attorney and plans to fight those who are persecuting (his word) him. Remarking on his alleged tax issues, he says that it’s not fair that he has been “targeted by IRS because of a clerical error.” Stapp we are available to help you.
Don’t Take The Chance And Lose Everything You Have Worked For.
Protect yourself. If you are in danger of wage garnishments or bank levies or having a tax lien placed against your property, stand up to the IRS by getting representation. Tax problems are usually a serious matter and must be handled appropriately so it’s important to that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your particular situation. The tax attorneys at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Los Angeles, San Diego San Francisco and elsewhere in California are highly skilled in handling tax matters and can effectively represent at all levels with the IRS and State Tax Agencies including criminal tax investigations and attempted prosecutions, undisclosed foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets, and unreported foreign income.
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