Baldwin, 46, admitted in Rockland County Court that he failed to pay New York state income taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Under a plea bargain, he gets to stay out of jail — so he can make some money — and can have his record wiped clean if he pays the taxes within a year.
His total bill in taxes, interest and penalties is $400,000, but state Supreme Court Justice Charles Apotheker said $100,000 had already been paid.
Baldwin, currently appearing on "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice," said he never intended to avoid paying taxes and got in trouble by trusting others.
"Unfortunately, I got some really bad suggestions and advice ... from lawyers and accountants," he said outside court.
Baldwin, who lives in Upper Grandview, said he believes he can meet the deadline, noting that his father was a schoolteacher who made $25,000 and raised six kids.
"I just look forward to getting the $300,000 paid in the next year," he said.
He said he's directing a movie starring his brother William and that other "faith-based opportunities" consistent with his principles are emerging. His lawyer said earlier this month that Baldwin would not be taking any roles like his starring turn as a professional thief with a short temper in the 1995 film "The Usual Suspects."
If he doesn't pay all the money within a year, the plea bargain provides for a five-year sentence of probation and repayment within that time.
Besides William, Baldwin's brothers Daniel and Alec — the latter was a star of TV's "30 Rock" — are also actors. Asked if he was getting any help from the family, Stephen Baldwin said: "Just support as family support. ... The responsibility lies ultimately with myself."
No sentencing date was set. Another court appearance is planned in June to see how repayment is going.