Appealing his own tax case, actor Snipes asks ‘What’s new?’ about plane crash at IRS building

By Michael Weinfeld, AP
Friday, February 19, 2010

Snipes asks ‘What’s new?’ about IRS plane crash

WASHINGTON — - Actor Wesley Snipes, who has tax problems of his own, had a blunt reaction to news about a software engineer who crashed his plane into an office building with nearly 200 IRS employees inside.

In an interview Friday with the Associated Press, Snipes asked, “What’s new?”

Authorities say A. Joseph Stack III, who was furious with the Internal Revenue Service, crashed his plane into an Austin, Texas, building on Thursday. Stack and one other person were killed.

Snipes said tax problems have been an issue in the U.S. from the very beginning.

As the actor put it: “I think it was an issue even for the early colonists and the British, so what’s new?”

Snipes, 47, was convicted in 2008 of not paying taxes for three years. He was sentenced to three years in prison and is appealing.

Despite his legal troubles, Snipes said, “All is very well. We’re very positive, we’re very confident that things will work out to our benefit and to our favor.”

He brushed off the experience as just another part of living.

“These are the bumps and bruises of life. They build character and you learn from it as you move on.”

Snipes says he still doesn’t understand why the IRS pursued him.

He added, “I’m not a politician, I’m not saving the world, I haven’t created a cure for cancer, I make movies …”

In 2006, “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch was convicted of not paying his taxes and spent more than three years in jail. He complained that the IRS used him as an example.

In Snipes’ opinion, “they were successful.”

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