Michael Jackson fans are captivated by his songs, performances, and wide range of artistic talents, but he is also fascinating because he is still making money long after his death in 2009. Unfortunately, a fortune of this size has attracted some of the wrong kind of attention to the Michael Jackson estate, and now Jackson’s estate has been battling with the IRS.
While many Michael Jackson fans are still watching his videos like “Dirty Diana” and “Thriller,” Michael Jackson’s net worth is not necessarily increasing because he has millions of views on YouTube.
Instead, despite the fact he died penniless according to records, Michael Jackson created an estate before he passed away, and made a long series of good business decisions that churned out a fortune of over $1 billion.
Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, and her two brothers, Blanket and Prince Jackson, all benefit from Jackson’s estate. Regardless, they do not pull the strings that control the estate and did not contribute to how Michael Jackson’s net worth increased significantly in 2017.
Although Quincy Jones was recently in the news for asking to gain access to his rightful slice of the Michael Jackson estate, according to Variety, the IRS is the biggest problem threatening Jackson’s posthumous ability to make money.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Michael Jackson was in debt when he died, and it was estimated at that time that his image was worth less than $2,105. Regardless, in 2016, the IRS decided it wanted to readjust that 2009 estimate of Michael Jackson’s “worth” at the time of his death.
One of the interesting aspects of the case the IRS set up against the Michael Jackson estate for $1 billion (later reduced to $750 million) is the fact that Jackson’s “image” was the item in question. Instead of focusing on assets like royalties or physical property, the IRS is currently attempting to define a new area that they will be able to tax.
As reported by Hollywood Reporter in December, 2016, the IRS finding a way to tax Michael Jackson’s image after his death is a big threat to other celebrities and their posthumous estates.
Although many celebrities would likely prefer to see the IRS lose its case concerning taxing Michael Jackson’s image, the case still does not appear to be over as of July, 2017.
According to Law 360, the Michael Jackson estate is still in court with the IRS after a year, and the current topic up for debate on August 2 was re-opening Jackson’s tax documents. In this situation, the case has been closed, and it yet the IRS wanted to open Michael Jackson’s tax documents so they could “add a supervisor’s form signing off on penalties assessed against the estate.”
Another reason that the IRS might not feel sorry for Michael Jackson’s estate is due to the fact he is still making an impressive amount of money in 2017. For example, after the IRS filed the lawsuit against Michael Jackson in 2016, his estate gained funds from yet another powerful Sony-related deal.
The first of the three deals that caused the Michael Jackson estate to gain millions after his death was the granting of the rights to the Mijac Music catalog in 2012 to Sony/ATV. The second big win for the Michael Jackson estate was in March, 2016, when Sony/ATV bought half of Michael Jackson’s controlling interest in Sony/ATV for $750 million, according to Billboard.
In July, 2017, Michael Jackson’s net worth increased again when Sony/ATV renewed their 2012 contract to Jackson’s publishing rights.
In an exclusive with New York Post, the executors of Michael Jackson’s estate, John Branca and John McClain, stated the following about making the recent July deal with Sony to house Michael Jackson’s music archive.
“The music of the greatest entertainer that ever lived, Michael Jackson, is in the hands of the number one publishing company in the world. We had to beat off every competitor.”
Without the Sony deals, the Michael Jackson estate would still continue to make money with royalties and licensing from other projects. Slate reported in late July that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was a part of a 2017 Comic-Con trailer for the upcoming Season 2 of Stranger Things.
Michael Jackson fans can also find that any rare item related to him could end up being auctioned for unimaginable sums. A previously unreleased recording of Michael Jackson on a disc titled “Bible” will be auctioned in 2017 with a starting bid of $50,000, according to Rolling Stone.
[Feature Image by MJ Kim/Getty Images]