Michigan-The IRS this week filed a Probate Court claim asserting that the Queen of Soul’s estate owes nearly $8 million in back taxes and penalty fees.

The IRS is claiming that the estate of the late Aretha Franklin owes $6.3 million in back taxes, with the possibility of the figure rising to $7.8 million in penalty fees.

According to legal documents filed in Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan, as reported by the Detroit News on Thursday (December 27th), the unpaid income tax dates from years 2012 to 2018 and states that “no part of this debt has been paid and it is now due and payable to the United States Treasury at the Office of the Internal Revenue Service”.

It also says “this debt has priority and must be paid in full in advance of distribution to creditors to the extent provided by law.”

However, a representative for the beloved soul singer’s estate said that it disputed the amount owed to the IRS and that $3 million, around half of the stated amount in the filing, had already been transferred.

“The IRS has filed its proof of claim in the ordinary cause of the estate’s proceeding,” David Bennett told The Detroit News via Franklin’s long-time publicist Gwendolyn Quinn. “This is not a liquidated claim, and it is disputed by the estate. The vast majority of Ms. Franklin’s personal 1040 tax obligations were paid prior to her death – something she wished to occur.

The estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues.”

It comes soon after Gregory Reed, a one-time attorney for Franklin, demanded more than $53,000 in back fees this past October, for what he claims regards six years of work that had not been paid for.

Referred to popularly as The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16th this year, at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Her death provoked a deluge of tributes from fellow musicians and other public figures.