Bruce Springsteen Reveals Why He Didn't Pay Taxes

Bruce Springsteen opened up last week about the tax problems he had early in his career.

“First of all, I never met anyone in New Jersey who paid any taxes! We never paid any taxes,” the 67-year-old rock star told Tom Hanks during an on-stage talk at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“The entire state wasn’t paying any taxes.”

Springsteen said his then-manager told him not to pay taxes. “All of this time went by. Nobody’s paying taxes — me, the band, no one I know.”

But, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took notice when Springsteen landed on the cover of Time in 1975.

“Finally, some guy at the IRS must’ve got smart and said, ‘Who is this guy on the cover of this magazine? Let’s see what he’s doing,’ ” Springsteen recalled. “They came after us and I had to work for a couple years for somebody else every night."

Springsteen said that in 1980, after paying back taxes, legal fees and other bills, he had only about $20,000 to his name. "Which sounded like a lot of money when I was 20," he said, "but when you're 30 and you've been doing it for awhile..."