Michael Jackson’s Image Was Worth Just $4 Million at His Death, Tax Court Rules

Michael Jackson’s image was worth just $4 million at the time of his death in 2009, a U.S. tax court judge ruled on Monday, far below the $161 million valuation sought by the IRS.

The ruling will dramatically reduce the estate tax bill incurred by Jackson’s heirs — his mother and children.

In a ruling that ran to 271 pages, Judge Mark Holmes sketched Jackson’s rise to stardom and the long period after the peak of his career when his debts mounted, his income dried up and he was dogged by allegations of child molestation.

By the time of his death, at age 50 in 2009, Jackson had not

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