Tyler Perry is a household name in Hollywood and his success tells the story of rags to riches. Although he reportedly grew up in an abusive family, he did not allow that to become an impediment to his path to success. At a point, Perry had to make a home in his car.
In 2020, Forbes officially recognized him as a billionaire after he reached a net worth of $1 billion. According to Forbes, the 53-year-old has earned a pretax income of over $1.5 billion since 2005 and joins the likes of fellow billionaire industry players including Oprah Winfrey, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John de Mol.
The bulk of his earnings comes from his 133.5 (330 acres) Atlanta film studio, Madea franchise and his stake in the BET+ streaming service, according to Forbes. Perry’s journey to success was not without challenges. In a recent discussion with guests at the 2022 Earn Your Leisure Conference, the entrepreneur and popular filmmaker shared with his audience his challenges as a businessman, including dismissing his entire accounting staff for a costly error.
Perry understood how important it was to make sure taxes had to adhere to a specific standard, despite the fact that he agrees that taxes are a grey area. “In business, it’s ok to make mistakes, but do learn. Don’t let it keep happening over and over again,” Perry noted, according to the dailycaller, before opening up about his accounting problem.
According to him, he commissioned an audit into his business which went on for three years, costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars. After the audit, he said, “we get to the end of the audit, and the IRS owed me $9 million — they owed me $9 million!”
He further noted that he was shocked that his accounts didn’t initially recognize the severity of the issue, adding that he had no choice but to fire them. “And all my accountants come running and say ‘Isn’t that great? Isn’t that great?’ And I say, ‘Hell no! How did you miss me paying $9 million?’”
“Everybody gone! I had to stop going to H&R block for my taxes at some point,” he joked.