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Famous American faces slapped by the taxman

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Tax season is here, and it's time to check off that IRS list.

Thinking about keeping some dough in the low?

Think again!

In the past, some famous people—and some not so famous— have cut corners and cheated on taxes, hoping to save some cash, but the move ended up very costly for them, and in some cases, it resulted in jail time.

Most Americans are against tax cheating, according to a recent survey.

Click ahead to find out which famous faces have been slapped by the taxman.

By CNBC's Silvana Ordoñez
Posted 13 March 2014

Lindsey Vonn
Downhill skier Lindsey Vonn
Franck Fife | AFP | Getty Images

World Cup alpine skier Lindsey Vonn ran into tax troubles in 2012. The IRS filed a $1.7 million tax lien against Vonn and her estranged husband.

The Olympic and World Cup champion skier quickly paid off the hefty sum to the IRS.

"The money owed was for the 2010 tax year, which was filed on time, and it has been paid in full," Vonn explained on her Facebook page on April 15, 2012. "This is an important lesson for me. Not being in control of my finances and relying on someone else who you believed had your best interest at heart was a mistake and one I will not make twice."

Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes
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In 2008, Snipes was convicted of three misdemeanor charges for failing to report to Uncle Sam.

Prosecutors claimed that the "Blade" trilogy actor failed to report $38 million worth of income generated between 1999 and 2001.

Cheating the IRS resulted in prison time for the actor, who served from Dec. 9, 2010 until April 2, 2012.

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson performs during the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival.
Skip Bolen | WireImage | Getty Images

Remember the album "Who'll Buy My Memories? (The IRS Tapes)"? Willie Nelson sure does.

It was the album the country singer released to pay off the $16.7 million bill the IRS sent him for back taxes. Nelson's lawyer managed to negotiate the debt down to $6 million.

The only problem was that Nelson did not have money to pay off the debt, and in 1990, the feds took nearly everything the artist owned.

Leona Helmsley
Leona Helmsley arrives for dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant April 27, 2004 in New York City.
Getty Images

"We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."

This quote, reported by Helmsley's former housekeeper during the real estate magnate's tax evasion trial, haunted her until she died in 2007.

Helmsley was convicted of evading $1.2 million in federal tax income. She served 18 months in prison.

Dennis Kozlowski
Dennis Kozlowski
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Tyco's former CEO, who was convicted of stealing millions from the company, also tried to cheat the IRS.

Kozlowski avoided New York sales taxes of 12 paintings, including a Monet and a Renoir, by making it seem like the paintings were shipped to then Tyco's headquarters in New Hampshire, instead of his Manhattan apartment.

But Kozlowski got caught, and in 2006, he agreed to pay $21.2 million to settle charges, according to The New York Times.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham
Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham (2nd R) walks into Federal Courthouse during the sentencing phase at the U.S. District Courthouse March 3, 2006 in San Diego.
Getty Images

Cunningham's career in Congress ended after the former California representative pleaded guilty to taking in $2.4 million in bribes and evading taxes on that cash.

Breaking the law resulted in seven years in prison for Cunningham, who was freed in 2013.

Lionel Richie
Recording artist Lionel Richie performs at The Beverly Hilton on January 25, 2014 in Beverly Hills.
Getty Images

In 2012, the IRS issued a $1.1 million lien against the singer for unpaid income taxes in 2010.

Richard Hatch
Survivor All-star Richard Hatch attends the Survivor Allstars Finale on May 9, 2004 at Madison Square Garden, in New York City.
Getty Images

The first winner of the reality TV show "Survivor" did not survive the wrath of the IRS. Hatch evaded taxes on the $1 million grand prize. He was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart attends KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations during the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival at Grand Tasting Village on February 22, 2014 in Miami Beach.
Getty Images

Before her conviction in an insider trading scandal, Stewart had already faced the law on charges of owing New York state $220,000 in back taxes

Timothy Geithner
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner testifies during a hearing July 25, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Getty Images

Before his confirmation as Treasury secretary in 2009, Geithner was the center of a tax scandal for failing to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for years while he worked for the IMF.

The scandal, however, did not prevent Geithner from serving his term in the Treasury.