Lauryn Hill's Tax Woes: Federal Charges for Not Filing Tax Returns

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By Adam Ramirez on June 07, 2012 12:27 PM

Grammy winning singer Lauryn Hill is facing major tax drama in New Jersey. It seems, the songstress hasn't filed her income tax returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lauryn Hill, you'll remember, rose to fame with The Fugees back in the 1990s, and then went on to work as a solo artist. She also appeared in several films, including Sister Act 2. Her solo career earned her high acclaim, when she won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Hill is facing a maximum penalty of $100,000 for her failure to file income taxes, as well as the possibility of one year in jail.

From 2005 to 2007, she apparently received a hefty $1.6 million of income, derived largely from royalties but also from her operations in four companies: Boogie Tours, Inc., Creations Music Inc., L.H. Productions 2001, Inc., and Studio 22, Inc.

Failure to file tax returns isn't the most serious of tax crimes, however. The IRS takes all tax mishaps pretty seriously. Typically, the non-filing of a tax return will result in the IRS filing one for the taxpayer.

Of course, the filing by the IRS doesn't come without a catch. For one, the IRS generally won't take into account the proper deductions and credits owed to the taxpayer. The second, and more problematic catch, is that the IRS also imposes hefty penalties for the late filing.

Late filing doesn't typically result in jail time, unless the failure to file is willful and repeated. But once the IRS files for a taxpayer and the taxpayer then declines to pay the tax and penalties, the IRS could come down with added enforcement measures. That's where criminal prosecution and jail time might become an option.

Lauryn Hill is expected to appear in court to respond to the charges on June 29, 2012.

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