Skip navigation
Aretha Franklin Copyright Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Aretha Franklin’s Estate Reportedly Paid $3 Million in Taxes

It could owe more.

The estate of Aretha Franklin has already paid at least $3 million in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a report by CNBC, but the government wants more. Legal documents apparently show the IRS believes it’s owed a minimum of $6.3 million in back taxes and another $1.5 million in penalties.

“We have disputes with the IRS regarding what they claim was income. We claim it's double-dipping income because they don’t understand how the business works,” said Franklin's estate attorney, David Bennett, in an interview with The Associated Press. The discrepancy stems from touring expenses, he added.

The estate is under audit from the IRS after the Queen of Soul died in August, without a will, potentially jeopardizing her estate. A lack of wealth transfer planning could mean a big tax bill for the estate.


Want The Daily Brief delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for’s Morning Memo newsletter.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.