This week, the Internal Revenue Service filed charges against Lauryn Hill for failing to pay taxes on more than $1.5 million earned in 2005, 2006 and 2007 from her recordings and film royalties. The reclusive singer took to her Tumblr account to explain, in length, why she intentionally didn’t file income tax returns.
“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground,” began the post, before Hill explained that she had always paid taxes and only stopped “when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.”
She added that her withdraws was to heal because of pop culture’s “climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism.”
“It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed,” she wrote. “Failure to create a non-toxic, non-exploitative environment was not an option.”
The mother of six added that she had explained her circumstances to federal authorities who questioned her. “Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution,” she wrote.
The five-time Grammy winner could face up to a year in prison or pay $100,000 in fines.