Lauryn Hill's Tax Evasion

Last June (2012), the eight-time Grammy award winner Lauryn Hill pled guilty to three charges of tax fraud. She failed to file her income tax returns for years 2005, 2006, and 2007, and had nearly $1.8 million of unreported income. Thus far she has paid a mere $50,000 of her whopping $554,000 tax liability.

Ms. Hill was to be sentenced on April 22 2013, and faced upwards of one year in prison and an additional $300,000 in fines and penalties. However, last week the federal Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo postponed Lauryn Hill’s tax evasion sentencing; the sentencing will recommence, however, for the week of May 6, 2013.

Apparently Hill made the excuse before the court that she would pay her tax liability after she received hopeful income from a new recording contract. But, according to Forbes, the judge dismissed her excuse and remarked that Hill was “not someone who stands before the court penniless” and the judge chastised the singer for making “no effort here to pay these taxes.”

The exact amount of Hill’s tax liability is still in dispute. Her attorney maintains that the amount does not exceed $1 million, while the U.S. attorney’s office asserts an amount in excess of that.

Hill’s fate is uncertain. What seems clear is that she will have to pay a lot in back taxes, plus interest and penalties, and possibly receive some jail time. We will know more next week.