How Chris Tucker Really Lost So Much Money

"Money Talks!" And if you are in debt, it won't be a good conversation. Chris Tucker knows this firsthand. The comedian found himself in some money trouble during his career that caused a significant blow to his bank account — despite his massive success.

Not only was he a famous comedian, but Tucker also landed a blockbuster role in the "Rush Hour" films. Following the success of the first film, Tucker got a raise of $20 million for the second movie and another $25 million for the third installment. The whopping paycheck he got from the films made him one of the top-earning actors in the industry. But even then, it wasn't enough for Tucker. The actor one told Classix ATL, "The way I kind of stepped back from Hollywood, at one point being the highest paid actor in Hollywood, I felt like you know it was a ceiling right there. I wanted more — it wasn't enough." Consequently, Tucker took a hiatus from the entertainment industry, although he failed to mention his involvement in a significant tax predicament with the IRS. 

In 2011, the revenue service was not letting Tucker slip out of their hands as he owed them money — andit was a lot!

Chris Tucker owed $14 million to the IRS

Although he is a comedian, Chris Tucker probably wasn't laughing when he was hit with his IRS bill. According to TMZ, in 2010, the IRS filed paperwork claiming the actor owed over $11 million spanning 2001 to 2006. If the "Rush Hour" actor thought that was bad, it only got worse. In 2014, Tucker was hit with another bill from Uncle Sam, per TMZ. According to documents, the IRS added another 2.5 million to Tucker's debt due to amounts he failed to pay in 2008 and 2010. Thus making the grand total that he owed to the government slightly over $14 million! This wild story seems like something out of a movie  — although it was a reality for the actor.

Tucker's reps claimed the negligence to pay the taxes was the fault of "poor accounting and business management." It wouldn't be the first time we've seen a shocking celebrity tax evasion scandal. Tucker even joked about the situation with Tom Joyner. After the comedian was asked what brought him back to the industry, He said, "The IRS, they said, 'You better get out and do something, or you're going down.' I said, 'Give me time. Let me get out on the street...I'll make [million] here. I'll make a [million] there. I'll get you the money, don't lock me up.'" Although Tucker promised to pay the IRS, it looks like he might have broken it.

Chris Tucker continued to owe $9.6 million

Chris Tucker might have thought he had heard the last of the IRS in 2014, but in November 2021, the IRS sued the "Friday" actor for $9.6 million for "back taxes, penalties, and interest," per ET. According to the outlet, Tucker attempted to pay off his debt three times with monthly payments, but the promise to repay the debt fell through. The documents stated, "Despite notice and demand for payment of the assessments set forth above, Mr. Tucker has neglected, refused, or failed to fully pay the assessments against him."

As of February 2023, Tucker is still attempting to settle the $9.6 million debt, according to Radar. The file to settle the case reads, "Given the above, the United States thinks it would be most efficient to focus the parties' time on resolving this case, if possible, without further litigation, to include trial," they continued, "Both sides think there is a good chance of doing so. Because the parties have completed discovery, all that remains is finalizing the terms of a potential agreement." As of 2023, Tucker's net worth has landed in the positive at $5 million. That number will continue to grow as he plots his comeback in the entertainment industry, which recently included the Ben Affleck-directed film, "Air." However, to pay his hefty $9.6 million tax bill, he might have to take on many more projects.