Over two years ago, in April 2008, Snipes was convicted in Florida of tax evasion, after failing to pay any federal taxes despite earning a reported $37m (£24m) between 1999 and 2004. He was sentenced to three years in jail after prosecutors alleged he owed the tax authorities some US $15 million.
At the time, he was accused of a campaign of criminal tax conduct combining brazen defiance with insidious concealment.
Snipes had appealed to a higher court against the judgment, asking for bail and arguing for a new trial.
Snipes’ lawyer had complained that jurors were prejudiced against Snipes before the trial started, and that evidence given against the actor by the financial adviser Kenneth I Starr was worthless.
But a judge has now told him that he had a fair trial, and that “the time has come for the judgment to be enforced”.
The US marshal’s office has ordered Snipes to report to the federal correctional institution McKean in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania, a medium security prison.