South Bronx rapper Fat Joe and his accountant have come forward to deny recent reports that the rapper was indebted to the IRS.Various websites have reported that the rapper owed the U.S. government over $150,000 dollars in back taxes.”I definitely pay my taxes,” Joe told AllHipHop.com. “I’m straight up with it. The first thing I ever learned in the entertainment business is you gotta pay the IRS. First thing. Before I take a dollar, before I buy me a bag of potato chips, I pay those people.”According to the reports, Fat Joe, born Joseph Cartagena, and his company Terror Squad Productions each owed the New Jersey Treasury over $70,000 dollars in back taxes, for a total liability of close to $150, 000 dollars.Fat Joe’s name appeared on the list as an officer of Terror Squad Productions, with balances dated September 2007.The rapper’s longtime accountant, Brian Dittrich, said that he is investigating the report, but also denied Fat Joe was in debt to Uncle Sam.
“I’ve represented Joe in matters of taxation for close to 12 years,” Dittrich told AllHipHop.com. “It is my understanding that Joe is current with all federal and state taxes and that there are no balances due.”The NJ Taxation website also states that “taxpayers may appear that have resolved debt since their appearance on this list and are in the process of being removed.”The current list was last updated on January 7.Fat Joe, who now resides and pays taxes in Miami, Florida, was puzzled by the allegations.”I been in the game twelve years, I’ve never had no accusations of owing nobody, or owing taxes or nothing like that. Where does this come from,” the rapper asked.Fat Joe is currently promoting his eighth solo studio album, The Elephant In The Room, due out March 11 on Terror Squad/Imperial Records.