Financial news and advice — May 2015

In New York City, Robert De Niro owes a seven-figure amount to the IRS, while a Maltese terrier is set to inherit a million-dollar trust fund.


Failed communication led to star’s $6.4M-tax lien

The Internal Revenue Service put a lien against Robert De Niro’s New York City residence earlier this year in connection with his overdue personal tax bill of US$6,410,449.20, according to Department of Treasury documents posted on The Smoking Gun website. A spokesman for De Niro said the 71-year-old Academy Award-winning actor was unaware of the seven-figure amount owing on his 2013 return because the tax notices were sent to an old address. As soon as he learned of the tax lien in late February, he had a cheque for the full amount hand delivered to the IRS.


Woman makes pooch sole heir to fortune

Rose Ann Bolsany with dog

Rose Ann Bolsany, a 60-year-old accountant in Queens, New York, has decided to leave everything she has — including a US$1.5-million trust fund, vacation home and jewelry — to her Maltese terrier Bella Mia rather than her two adult children. The three-year-old New York Pet Fashion winner is already one of the richest dogs around, with her own bedroom, more than 1,000 designer outfits and a diamond necklace. The inheritance, as stipulated in Bolsany’s will, should ensure the beloved canine continues to live a life of luxury.


Quebec man misses jackpot by seconds

Seven isn’t lucky for Montreal accountant Joel Ifergan. That’s the number of seconds too late his lottery ticket purchase was to land him a $13.5-million jackpot. He bought two Lotto Super 7 tickets on May 23, 2008: one printed at 8:59 and the other at seven seconds past the 9 p.m. deadline for that night’s draw. When his numbers came up, he discovered the ticket was eligible only for the following week. Ifergan, 60, has been trying to claim the prize from Loto-Quebec ever since, but his hopes were finally dashed in January when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his case.


Money fibs well-meaning

Only half (49%) of Canadians say they always tell the truth when discussing their finances with a partner/spouse, friends, family or coworkers, finds a poll for BDO Canada. Of those who don’t, the top reason cited for bending the truth is to protect loved ones from stress or worry (36%). In other words, they’re lying for your own good. Feel better?


Millennial milestone

Young women in some US locations are outearning their male counterparts. Data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that women under the age of 35 in New York take home US$1.02 for every dollar made by men of similar age in the state. Millennial women’s pay is near parity with men’s (US97¢ to US98¢ on the dollar) in other areas, including Vermont, California, Washington, DC, and North Carolina.