Bruce Springsteen admits he evaded taxes for years and when the IRS came calling he wasn’t left with much.

Believe it or not, the legendary rocker didn’t have much money left in his bank account after Uncle Sam came to collect. Springsteen, now 67, said New Jersey culture never really took taxes seriously.

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“First of all, I never met anyone in New Jersey who paid their taxes,” the E Street Band front man joked with Tom Hanks at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. “The entire state wasn’t paying any taxes. So, years went by and all of this time went by. Nobody’s paying any taxes. Me, the band, no one I know… I didn’t pay those taxes.”

Springsteen attributes his 1975 cover on Time Magazine for why the government took notice of him. For the following few years, all the money Springsteen made from his concerts and albums went to the government. The “Born to Run” singer said he only had about $20,000 to his name by the time he was 30.

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The musician has seemingly learned his lesson, insisting that “I pay ’em now.”

Looking back on his career, Springsteen confessed it took him a long time to achieve balance. “Basically, you tell a story to save your life. When I was very young, I felt like I was drowning,” he said. “You are not living. A writer tells a story to save his life … Life awaits you, but taking it is a rough and tumble business.”

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Springsteen Through The Years