Lauryn Hill Admits to Failing to File Tax Returns, U.S. Says

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum will be performing at Rock the Bells Festival on Sept. 3. Photographer: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lauryn N. Hill, the Grammy-winning singer, pleaded guilty to failing to file three years of income tax returns with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Hill, 37, waived her right to trial and entered her plea today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shipp in Newark, New Jersey, according to her lawyer and to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

“Miss Hill accepted full responsibility for her actions,” attorney Nathan Hochman said in a telephone interview, adding that his client “intends to fully pay back the IRS for all back taxes owed.”

Hill won two Grammy awards in 1996 as a member of the Fugees. Her album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was named album of the year at the 1999 Grammy Awards. She also won awards then for best new artist, best rhythm and blues album, best R&B song and best female R&B vocal performance.

“During calendar years 2005, 2006 and 2007, Hill received more than $1.8 million in income, and failed to file tax returns with the IRS for those years,” the prosecutor said.

The singer’s primary source of income was royalties from the recording and film industries and she owned four closely held corporations, Fishman said.

A final determination as to her tax liability hasn’t yet been made, said Hochman.

The prosecutor announced the misdemeanor charges on June 7. Her lawyer said then that his client was cooperating with the investigation.

Hill faces as long as one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for each count and will be sentenced on Nov. 27. She has no agreement with prosecutors as to a maximum punishment, Hochman said.

The case is U.S. v. Hill, 12-mj-6081, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

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