Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Bubba Paris will spend the next 2 years on probation instead of in jail, according to a ruling handed down in Oakland this week. After having retired from football in 1990, Paris found himself working as a motivational speaker under the company name “Paris Enterprises.” The problem is that he failed to file tax returns related to this second career and skipped out on about $125,000 he owes to the IRS. Besides being saddled with probation, Paris has also been ordered to pay the full sum. He was originally arrested on misdemeanor charges of failure to file a tax return.
Many people in the United States understand that refusing to pay the debt you owe to the Internal Revenue Service can be disastrous. What you may not know is that failing to file your taxes at all can be just as damaging, whether you’re a famous ex-pro footballer or not. Failure to file a tax return or to pay tax (26 United States Code 6651) requires that a person “willfully neglect” to either file or pay his or her taxes in order to be convicted of a violation of this section of the law. There are additional monetary penalties, including an “increase in penalty for fraudulent failure to file.” Although prosecutors wanted to see Paris jailed for a period of one year for his failure to file between 1992 and 2012, an Oakland magistrate saw fit to give Paris, a noted humanitarian, a break.