David Allan Coe Narrowly Avoids Jail, Fined $1 Million by IRS

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David Allan Coe will not be going to prison for an obstruction charge levied by the IRS, but he will be on probation for the next three years, and will have to pay fines and back taxes totaling $980,911.86 for his tax delinquency between 2008 – 2013, and before. This was the sentence brought down in Cincinnati on Monday (6-13) in Federal court. Coe plead guilty to the charge in September 2015 of impeding and obstructing the due administration of the Internal Revenue Service, and was facing the possibility of spending the next three years in prison. The charge is a felony.

According to authorities, David Allan Coe played an average of 100 concerts between the years of 2008 and 2013, but failed to pay taxes on the income he generated. Authorities say that even when Coe did file taxes, he failed to pay the amount owed, while also owing additional taxes from previous years as far back as 1993. According to authorities, instead of paying his taxes, Coe paid off other debts, including large debts due to gambling.

Investigators also claim Coe purposely tried to circumvent the IRS. When Coe would perform, he would insist venues pay his booking manager in full before performing. The booking manager would then wire the money to Coe’s personal account. However in 2009, Coe stopped receiving the payments after receiving word from the IRS for his overdue taxes. Instead, Coe would insist in being paid cash before 3 p.m. on the day of a show, and could not be paid in $50 bills because according to investigators, he believed the denomination was bad luck in gambling.

Coe failed to pay the income taxes when he filed his 2009, 2011 and 2013, meaning Coe now owes the IRS $388,190.94 for 2009, $35,640.10 for 2011, and $42,733.82 for 2013. The balance of the amount owed comes from other income taxes owed plus interest and penalties.

All taxpayers, regardless of their profession, must comply with their federal tax obligations,” said Kathy A. Enstrom of the IRS in September 2015. “As is evident from Mr. Coe’s guilty plea, schemes to evade the payment of taxes are a violation of the Federal Tax laws and postpones the eventual need to comply at an even higher cost, including federal criminal prosecution and having to pay back taxes with interest and steep penalties.”

David Allan Coe is 76-years-old, and still regularly plays and tours.