June 06, 2024

Lebo M gets access back to the US after tax woes

Lebo M with his mentor Hans Zimmer performing
Photos: Supplied

Lebo M, the renowned Grammy award-winning composer and producer, has successfully resolved his tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is now able to travel freely to the United States. Last year, his passport was revoked by the US consulate general due to "a seriously delinquent debt'. 


The US consulate general's office wrote to Lebo M in July last year, ordering him to hand over the documents following a notice from the secretary of the Treasury because of a tax bill. 

According to a letter, seen by Zimoja, and sent to Lebo M, the only time the USA revokes a passport is when the holder has either violated American criminal or civil laws; has spent excessive time outside America or when the holder has been found guilty of fraud or other misrepresentations including tax affairs. "You may reapply for a passport once the secretary of Treasury has certified to the US Department of State that you have satisfied your tax obligation,' read the letter.


According to sources close to Lebo M, he was able to pay off his American tax bill with the help of renowned composer and producer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer, the renowned German-American film score composer, rescued Lebo M when he made a $1 million upfront payment to the US authorities so that Lebo M could re-apply for his passport and travel in and out of the US in peace. Lebo M has been in Europe touring with Zimmer performing. The source told ZiMoja that Lebo M was smart enough to tell the composer he could settle his debt instead of paying him directly.


Lebo M took centre stage at the Hollywood Bowl's 30th-anniversary celebrations of The Lion King in Concert last week. The 30th-anniversary event brought together a star-studded cast, including Lebo M and the original voices of the 1994 The Lion King animation cast like Ernie Els, Nathan Lane, and Jason Weaver, with guest appearances by Jennifer Hudson and Kanye West's daughter North West. Called for comment, Lebo M said: "I don't entertain gossip, but I can tell you the 30th anniversary concert of The Lion King at the Hollywood Bowl was a deeply personal and momentous occasion for me. It felt like coming full circle most magically," Lebo M said, without touching issues pertaining to his tax affairs.

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