He received a suspended 45-day jail sentence, was placed on 36 months of unsupervised probation, must complete 100 hours of community service within the year and must pay more than $79,000 in restitution plus a $2,000 fine.
In a statement announcing the plea, the state Department of Revenue said the 53-year-old Lowe, currently an assistant with the NBA's Utah Jazz, didn't file returns from 2009-11 - the last three years he coached the Wolfpack.
The agency says Lowe didn't file his state tax returns for those years even after he was contacted about it - but he did file them prior to his court date.
Lee Turner, Lowe's Raleigh-based attorney, told The Associated Press that his client "has been very embarrassed by this from the beginning" and attributed it to Lowe not paying attention to detail.
"I assure you this is something that is never going to happen again," Turner said.
The department says Lowe received roughly $962,000 in income in 2009 and $953,000 in 2010 from N.C. State and roughly $659,000 in 2011 from the school and the Jazz, who hired him after he resigned as the Wolfpack's coach that year.
At N.C. State, Lowe was paid a base salary of around $210,000 per year. That was boosted to $760,000 with television and radio commitments, and with bonuses and endorsements could have been up to $900,000 a year.
A contract settlement after his resignation was expected to pay Lowe around $900,000, athletic director Debbie Yow said at the time.
Lowe was one of the most beloved players in N.C. State history for his role as the starting point guard on the "Cardiac Pack" team that won the 1983 NCAA championship. He returned to Raleigh in 2006 to replace Herb Sendek as coach, but the Wolfpack struggled to sustain any momentum in Lowe's five seasons. He never made the NCAA tournament as a coach.
The Wolfpack never finished higher than ninth in the Atlantic Coast Conference under Lowe. He went 86-78, including just 25-55 in ACC play. Lowe was 3-16 record against rivals Duke and North Carolina, with two of those wins coming in his first year.
Lowe twice reached the NIT. After he stepped down, the school hired current coach Mark Gottfried.
Lowe also spent five years as an NBA head coach in Minnesota and Memphis, compiling a 79-228 record.