Lauryn Hill Explains Why She Didn’t Pay Her Taxes

Becky Bain | June 8, 2012 4:00 pm

Lauryn Hill is currently facing federal charges for failing to pay taxes between the years 2005 to 2007. Though she was more than willing to keep the IRS waiting, Hill was super-quick to share her side of the story.

Last night, the artist created a Tumblr for the sole reason to explain why she didn’t pay taxes for three years. The lengthy statement (seriously — it’s long) is full of pretentious references to being an artist,  condemning consumerism and media, and argues that it was necessary to reject normal society in order to protect her and her family. Somehow, we’re not surprised the IRS isn’t accepting Hill’s off-the-grid claims as an excuse, particularly since she still managed to earn more than $1.6 million in the years she neglected to file.

Read highlights from Hill’s statement below.

“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.”

“I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity. So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it.  During this critical healing time, there were very few people accessible to me who had not already been seduced or affected by this machine, and therefore who could be trusted to not try and influence or coerce me back into a dynamic of compromise.”

When one has a prolific creative output like I did/do, and is then forced to stop, the effects can be dangerous both emotionally and psychologically, both for the artist and those in need of that resource.  It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed.

It took a long time to locate and nurture a community of people strong enough to resist the incredibly unhealthy tide, and more importantly see through it.  If I had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family.  Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option.

I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period.  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.

My intention has always been to get this situation rectified.  When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes.  This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.

What do you think of Hill’s reasoning? Should she be exempt from paying her taxes – or at the very least, pay them now with no repercussions? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

[Via Ms. Lauryn Hill Tumblr]