Michael Jackson's estate goes into battle over tax.
Michael Jackson's estate goes into battle over tax.

Michael Jackson's estate claims tax investigation flawed

Michael Jackson's estate has claimed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)' legal battle over the late King of Pop's worth is flawed.

Michael Jackson's estate claim the Internal Revenue Service's tax investigation is grossly flawed.The late singer's executors have hit back at the IRS after they launched a legal battle in a bid to secure $505 million and an additional $197 million in penalties, claiming the 'Thriller' hitmaker's assets were grossly undervalued following his death in June 2009.

One point of contention is he estate's original valuation of the pop star's interest in a trust that includes the rights to some of his biggest hits and most of The Beatles back catalogue - including 'Yesterday,' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Get Back' - at zero value, while the IRS claimed it was worth $469 million.

Now sources close to the star have told TMZ only put a zero on the tax return because Michael and Sony were 50/50 partners in the catalogue, which had a total net value of $800 million.

They claim Michael - who left behind three children Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket - borrowed $320 million against the catalogue and owed another $200 million in personal debt, so they balanced his $400 million share out at zero.

The estate also believes the IRS is off base when it comes to Michael's likeness and images, which they valued at a mere $2,105 at his time of death compared to the IRS's $434 million.

They insist the King of Pop had made no cash from his image in the 15 years running up to his death, because his popularity had been diminished by child sex abuse allegations.

The estate also claims the Jackson 5 music collection is worth $11.2 million and not the $45.5 million the IRS is suggesting.