Acting Out: Robert Redford Sues New York for $1.6 Million Bill

Posted: Aug 06, 2014 3:30 PM

Is it too late to film a sequel to "The Sting?" Hollywood actor Robert Redford is suing the state of New York after facing a nasty $1.6 million tax for the sale of his company's part-ownership of the Sundance Channel in 2005.

In May, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance claimed Redford owed $845,066 in taxes, plus $727,404 in interest on the sale of Sundance. Redford, however, claims he already paid off taxes from his income on the sale in the state of Utah. He sued the department on July 30 in the Albany County Supreme Court. From his complaint:

Sundance T.V.'s (INC) business activity in 2005 was "limited to the holding of an interest in Limited. INC managed its passive investment in Limited, paid its business expenses and maintained its books and records, all from its out-of-state location," Redford says in the complaint.

Limited, in turn, owned part of the Channel and received trademark revenue from it. "Neither NC nor Limited had an office, or property, or employed anyone within New York," the complaint states. "Neither entity had any property, payroll or receipts, located in or deemed attributable to the conduct of a trade or business in New York.

"Plaintiff did not use his ownership interest in INC, nor did he use his indirect ownership interest in Limited or Channel, in any trade or business carried on by him in New York. Further, plaintiff did not have any property, payroll or receipts located in or deemed attributable to the conduct of a trade or business in New York.

"In 2005, Limited sold a portion of its interest in Channel to an unrelated third party. The gain related to this sale was passed through to the direct and indirect partners of Limited, including plaintiff by way of INC."

The actor will soon find out if his case has a happy ending. Whatever the outcome, at least he's proving there are wealthy liberals who don't want to pay higher taxes.

A copy of Redford's lawsuit can be read here.