IRS Says Prince’s Executors Undervalued His Estate by $80 Million

A contentious situation turns more contentious

Prince at McNichols Arena 1986
Prince at Denver's McNichols Arena on July, 3, 1986.
John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images

It’s been over four years now since the untimely death of Prince. In the time since then, several archival releases and deluxe reissues of his music have seen the light of day. His studio, Paisley Park, opened to the public as a museum. And his memoir The Beautiful Ones was published to critical acclaim.

According to a new report at The Guardian, however, the story of Prince’s estate recently encountered a new wrinkle — and it’s one that could have a significant impact moving forward.

Prince did not leave a will behind when he died. This has left some questions remaining about the value of his estate. Comerica Bank & Trust, currently tasked with administering the estate, estimated its value at $82.3 million. Now, the IRS has responded with its estimate of the estate, and it’s a bit more.

Make that quite a bit more. The IRS’s estimate puts the value of Prince’s estate at $162.3 million — meaning that the estate now owes $32.4 million in federal taxes, plus a penalty of $6.4 million. According to the article, the discrepancy here “primarily involves Prince’s music publishing and recording interests.”

Comerica is seeking a tax court trial, to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota. Whatever the outcome might be, this news suggests that the debate over Prince’s estate and legacy has a long way to go before being resolved.

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