The Internal Revenue Service recently admitted that it made an error in its initial valuation of Michael Jackson’s estate, as reported in Forbes. Now, before anyone gets too excited, correcting this valuation “mistake” has actually increased the King of Pop’s estate tax bill by roughly $29 million, bringing it to a current total of $731 million.
The sources of this confusion are several master recordings owned by Jackson at his death in 2009. Previously, the IRS had believed Jackson owned only a 50% interest in the recordings, when he actually owned 100% of them. Fixing this oversight increased the value of Jackson’s interests dramatically to, at the IRS’ reckoning, $91 million; a stark difference from the $11 million reported by Jackson’s estate.
More than five years after his passing, the King of Pop remains royalty among postmortem earners, pulling in triple-digit millions every full year since his death. Much of his cash comes from two Cirque du Soleil shows-Immortal, now one of the ten top grossing tours of all time, and One, a permanent show in Las Vegas-as well as his half of the Sony/ATV publishing empire and his own Mijac catalogue. His latest posthumous release, Xscape, debuted at No. 2 on the charts earlier this year.