Melissa Gilbert Owes IRS $360,000, Which She Blames On Career, Recession and Divorce

Pam WrightLife

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Melissa Gilbert is in trouble with the IRS.

According to CBS News, the Internal Revenue Service says former Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert failed to pay more than $360,000 in federal income taxes from 2011-2013.

The Detroit News reports the IRS filed a tax lien against the actress in February because of her failure to pay taxes.

Melissa Gilbert, 51, blames the 2011-2013 tax debt on the lack of acting opportunities, the economy and her divorce.

"Like so many people across the nation, the recession hit me hard," Gilbert said. "That, plus a divorce and a dearth of acting opportunities the last few years, created a perfect storm of financial difficulty for me."

Recently, Melissa Gilbert announced that she and her family are moving out of their rented home in Howell, Illinois, although husband Timothy Busfield said the move has nothing to do with the debt.

"(The debt) has more to do with the housing crash and divorce in the past," Busfield said. "It's a product of what happened with the economy. It's unfortunate and it's been happening a lot. It's not a big deal."

Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie from 1974-1983 said she has negotiated a payment plan with the IRS.

"I've set up an installment plan to fully pay off my debt and will continue to work as hard as I can to erase this debt and dig myself out of this hole," said Melissa Gilbert. "I am absolutely positive that I can do it."

Most recently, Melissa Gilbert starred alongside Juliette Lewis and Ryan Phillippe in the ABC series Secrets and Lies.

Pam Wright