Despite now being a successful comedian, Kevin Hart once faced a situation with the IRS that was no laughing matter.
A resurfaced clip pulled from Hart’s 2021 appearance at the 10X Growth Conference hosted by Grant Cardone shows the Philadelphia comedian recounting a story from when he was 21 years old and was “double, triple in debt.”
The clip recently resurfaced on social media.
The Tax Man Cometh
Hart had secured $250,000 in an undisclosed development deal in 2000, but spent the majority of the money before revealing he had to pay taxes.
“The first lump sum of money that I got, I remember I was like 21 and I got $250,000 as a development deal,” he told Cardone. “Nobody explained taxes to me. Nobody explained an entity, an LLC. The money just came, they took some of it out. I spent it and looked up and owed more money to the government and had to pay that, was left with a negative balance and was left with a hell of a marker of money that had to be paid.”
While Hart didn’t elaborate on what the development deal was, he explained he was shocked he had to pay taxes on the money.
“I was in debt for like two years trying to figure out how to pay the money that I owed to the government,” he continued. “So the money that I was making as a standup, I still had to pay the taxes on that money. So I ended up being in double debt ’cause this money is being used to pay the government from what I owed them up here. And I’m not able to pay the taxes from that money from what I owed right here. So, holy sh-t, I’m three years behind. What the f-ck is happening?”
Hard On Himself, Hard On Others
The resurfaced clip also includes a harsh critique from Hart, suggesting that people from low-income neighborhoods, like himself in his younger days, are not equipped to handle large sums of money due to how the government and big business exploit the Black community’s lack of financial literacy.
“If you look in the hood, there’s liquor stores and check cashing places. You know why? Because they know the people in the hood aren’t smart enough to open up bank accounts. They’re gonna get a check, they gon’ cash it, and it’s a liquor store right next to it,” Hart said.
“Let’s just put that around them. Let’s also put a bunch of s–t that’s easy and cash available,” Hart continued. “We don’t want you to gain credit. We want you to be cash-driven. That’s how we keep the poor poor. It’s not until you understand, that you get out.”
While some users on social media thought Hart’s comments were bourgeois, the beloved comedian is no stranger to financial setbacks and often incorporates these experiences into his jokes, or is candid about them in interviews.
“I’m actually going to ask the uncool questions. I’m actually not afraid to come off dumb. I’m actually not afraid to come off uneducated about what I don’t know, and that’s a that’s a talent, that’s a talent like being a cool person that wants to know everything, that’s not there’s no benefit in knowing everything. You can’t know everything you just can’t you can know a lot about something but you can’t know everything so somebody knows a little bit more than what you do that can help you no more,” Hart said on stage with Cardone.
As Finurah previously reported, Hart missed out on an opportunity to invest in Uber when the company was seeking capital investors for its public launch. Another story from Finurah reported that he was embarrassed to admit that he spent his first big check on sports memorabilia jerseys.
“When that happened I said, ‘When I get out of this situation that happened, which I eventually will, I’m never coming back to it again. I’m gonna get the information that I should have had,’” Hart told Cardone. “I talked to people who had money. I was in some rooms with people that were making money, and I asked questions that some people think they are too cool to ask.”
He added, “My penalty for not asking questions when I made money was f–king off the money and owing. The benefit was now putting myself in a position to try to not make the same mistake.”
Hart: A Man of Assets
Today, Hart has several business ventures, including the vegan fast-food chain Hart House, his Hartbeat production company, and his tequila brand Gran Coramino.
Hart, known for his workaholic tendencies, he’s also invested in various other businesses such as lifestyle brands like Mitchell & Ness, Rihanna’s Savage X, biotech company Tally Health and wellness technology company Therabod.
All of this has boosted his income and afforded him certain luxuries, such as a multimillion car collection.
In addition, he plans to open up his private collection of cars to the public for the first time. The debut of the Kevin Hart Kollection will take place at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which will run from Nov. 17 to 26. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see 11 custom-built vehicles personally chosen by Hart, showcasing his unique tastes and preferences.