King James has two NBA titles in his back pocket as well as a big tax edge over future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant: James lives in Florida, which has no state income tax. So while at first blush his annual salary of $19 million pales to Kobe's $30.5 million, the Laker legend lives in Los Angeles -- and thus is on the hook for a 12.3% state tax. By living in tax-free Florida, James' net income is closer to Kobe's than you think.
Actor Gerard Depardieu decided not to stand his ground when France raised its tax rate on top earners to 75%. Instead he moved to Russia, which taxes only 13% of his income. Total savings for Depardieu? About $6.2 million annually.
Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, like a lot of self-employed people, opted to be paid in cash for her work. But the IRS caught on to the dodge and dinged Leibovitz to the tune of $1 million for four years' worth of unearned income. The snapshot here? Don't get paid in cash if you're self-employed.
Troubled actress Lindsey Lohan decided to stop paying taxes altogether from 2009 to 2011. The IRS stuck her with a $100,000 bill for the missing money. But Lohan has friends in high places; bad boy actor Charlie Sheen stepped up and paid off the bill.
Billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson was a big backer of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney last year. And why not? Romney's proposed tax plan would have saved Adelson $2 billion in cold, hard cash. But like Romney, Adelson's efforts fell short, and now he has to look elsewhere for a tax break (and good luck with that). No, the rich and famous aren't like the rest of us -- that is, except for a strong desire to save money where they can on taxes. And just like the rest of us, sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't.