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Battle Of The Experts Over Prince's Estate

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

When rock star Prince died, his family was dismayed to discover he passed without a will. A battle between Prince's six siblings and half-siblings was in the news for years and now Prince's estate has sprung a new battle thanks to the IRS.


Earlier this year the IRS reported that according to its records, Comerica Bank & Trust had undervalued Prince's estate by $80 million. Comerica alleged that the assets were worth $82.3 million, but after the IRS counted Prince's music publishing and recording interests, the estate should be worth $163.2 million.


If the IRS's calculations of Prince's estate are correct, that means the estate owes an additional $32.4 million in federal taxes. Further, the IRS wants Prince's heirs to pay an additional $6.4 million as an "Accuracy-related penalty" due to Comerica's mistake.


Comerica is not backing down and has sued the IRS in U.S. Tax Court alleging that the original estimate was completely accurate and that the IRS's calculations were full of errors. Dennis Patrick, estate planning attorney, was quoted saying, "What we have here is a classic battle of the experts -- the estate's experts and the IRS's experts."


Although still unclear who will win the battle, it will be costing the estate in additional legal fees. If Prince were alive to see this he would be writing a battle cry instead of another hit song.


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