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Charges of Failure to File: Famous or Not, Many People Are Affected

The reasons why paying taxes can get difficult vary with each person. Such struggles can happen to anyone, and being rich or famous is no guard against them.

A recent case in point is the tax troubles of the Grammy-award-winning singer Lauryn Hill. Last week, federal prosecutors charged her with failure to file a tax return. In fact, they charged Hill with failing to file returns for three different years, from 2005 to 2007.

Prosecutors claim that Hill did not pay taxes on over $1.8 million income during those three years. She is due to appear in court on June 29 to respond to the charges.

Each charge carries a potential penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $100,000.

According to the charges by the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, Hill had over $800,000 in gross income in 2005, and $200,000 in 2006 and over $750,000 in 2007. She accused of not filing a tax return with the IRS for any of those years.

Lauryn Hill won her five Grammies for her debut solo album. The album was called "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." It was so well received that she appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

Now, she is dealing with a criminal tax charge. But she is far from alone; many other people have faced this type of charge as well. And it should be noted that there are often valid defenses that an experienced tax attorney can make in these cases.

Source: "Lauryn Hill Charged With Failing to File Income Tax Returns," Wall Street Journal, 6-7-12

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