Terrence Howard Faces $1M Tax Penalty Over 'Immoral' Claim

Amidst legal battles, a deeper societal issue surfaces

by Zain ul Abedin
Terrence Howard Faces $1M Tax Penalty Over 'Immoral' Claim
© Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

In a recent ruling that has caught the attention of many, Terrence Howard, the esteemed actor known for his compelling performance in the television series "Empire," has been mandated by a federal judge in Philadelphia to settle nearly $1 million in overdue taxes.

This decree comes in the wake of Howard's bold assertion that it is fundamentally unjust for descendants of slaves to be taxed by the U.S. government. The Philadelphia Inquirer disclosed that Howard is to pay $903,115, encompassing back taxes, penalties, and interest due to unpaid income taxes spanning from 2010 to 2019.

Despite the Internal Revenue Service's persistent efforts over more than a year to collect the outstanding $578,000 from Howard, who was last known to reside in Plymouth Meeting, the actor staunchly resisted. In 2022, the Justice Department took legal action against Howard.

However, attempts to engage him in the legal process were unavailing. Howard, in a notable move, communicated via voicemail to the leading tax attorney on the case, vehemently denying any debt and threatening to publicize the lawsuit on the internet.

Reparations Debate Intensifies

In a voicemail that was later filed in court, Howard criticized the U.S. government's audacity to prosecute and tax the descendants of slaves, suggesting that, as a form of reparations, the entire United States should rightfully belong to them.

"We’re gonna bring you down," he declared, indicating his readiness to confront the issue in court. Howard's forceful commentary emerges amidst a growing national dialogue on reparations for descendants of slaves. This conversation has gained momentum, with advocates urging for substantial financial compensation and several municipalities across the nation, including Boston, San Francisco, and New York, initiating task forces to explore America's historical connections to slavery.

Evanston, Illinois, notably became the first city to adopt a reparations plan, committing $10 million over a decade to its Black residents. At the federal level, discussions are ongoing, with proposed resolutions to recognize a legal and moral duty to implement reparations, highlighting a pivotal moment in the nation's ongoing reckoning with its past.