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Judge orders celebrity Terrence Howard to pay nearly one million dollars in taxes.

Rena Schild

Celebrity Terrence Howard, an alum of the famous TV series Empire, is facing a payment of almost one million dollars on back taxes, interest, and penalties. A federal judge in Pennsylvania ordered him to pay the taxes. Earlier, the 54-year actor allegedly threatened a lawyer of the Justice Department, and the transcript was attached to the lawsuit filed against him.

Last week, U.S. District Judge John F. Murphy granted a ruling to enter a default judgment against actor Terrence Howard. He owes the IRS $903,115, and Law360, a legal news service, first reported this news.


The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Justice Department lawyers said serving the actor was long and challenging. They sent papers to his registered homes and the home of his ex-wife, Lori Howard. His daughter, Heaven Howard, opened the door at one of his homes but said her father did not live there. She was not willing to call him and notify him about the lawsuit.

Court records say he was finally tracked down at a scheduled appearance at the Twin Cities Film Fest in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, last fall and was successfully served.

The following month, Terrence Howard left a voicemail for the Justice Department’s lead attorney on the case, Maria Elizabeth Ruwe. He identified the docket number of the case. However, he neither acknowledged the issue nor responded in the next three months.

On Thursday, the federal judge said that the government had provided “more than sufficient detail” showing its attempts to engage with the actor over 14 months.


The judge asked lead attorney Ruwe if there were any potential criminal charges as Howard allegedly threatened her. She said she had reported the alleged threats to the Justice Department security and said, “I don’t know the results.”

A transcript of the voice call from the actor read as follows: “Four hundred years of forced labor and never receiving any compensation for it. Now you have the gall to try and prosecute and charge taxes to the descendants of a broken people that you are responsible for causing the breakage.”

The recording gets cut off. Howard calls back and continues, “In truth, the entire United States should, by default, become the property of the descendants of slaves. But since you do not have the ability [or] the courage to do it, let’s try this in court…We’re going to bring you down.”

This was reportedly the final communication received from actor Terrence Howard before the judge ruled on the case.

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