Singer Lauryn Hill sentenced for unpaid back taxes

As the string of tax liens and evasion charges against celebrities like Wesley Snipes and Lindsay Lohan indicates, the Internal Revenue Service does not tread lightly when prosecuting tax evasion and related crimes – no matter how influential the offender may be. Recently, singer Lauryn Hill – formerly of the Fugees – was sentenced to three months in jail for failing to pay taxes on $1.8 million in income she accrued between 2005 and 2007.

We previously reported that Hill pleaded guilty to failure to file a tax return last summer. She was formally sentenced in a New Jersey court this month and she will serve three months of home confinement after her time in a federal prison, followed by a year on probation.

“Ms. Hill did not get a slap on the wrist and let off with just paying a certain amount of money, but has had to go through this entire criminal prosecution,” the singer’s tax attorney told the news outlet, adding that this trial indicates that the federal government is clearly committed to prosecuting celebrities as aggressively as other civilians.

He added that Hill has since paid all outstanding back taxes in full.

If you work in an industry with an unconventional income structure, filing your tax documentation can be a complex process. However, as such cases show, it is essential to properly comply with state and federal tax laws in full. If you have questions about tax planning, have unfiled tax returns, or currently face charges of tax evasion or fraud, contact the experienced professionals at Moskowitz LLP and learn your rights and how to protect yourself.

Please see our additional posts regarding this case here.