Marlee Matlin Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin owes the IRS $50,000 in back taxes from 2009, she tells People.

"I'm paying it back. I'm not shying away from it and I'm certainly not ashamed of it," Matlin says. "It doesn't mean I'm a bad person. It's reality. It's the reality that a lot of people in America are facing."

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The Celebrity Apprentice star says she and her family are not living extravagantly, but that acting jobs can come infrequently, affecting her income. "Living modestly in a suburban neighborhood while trying to support four children through private school is not extravagant or living large," Matlin says. "My husband is a Los Angeles-area police officer and between the two of us we have always made ends meet in the past — and we will in this circumstance as well."

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Matlin — the youngest to win a Best Actress Oscar at age 21 for 1986's Children of a Lesser God — says her family's home is up for sale and they plan to move to a community with a good public school.

"I'm not broke," she says. "Like everybody else, I owe money."