The grammy-award singer, 37, said she could not afford to pay taxes after she quit the music industry to look after her six children.
She claimed she planned to pay her taxes but it was just a matter of time.
The federal judge reminded Hill citizens do not get to pick when they pay their taxes.
Hill said she lived very modestly and compared her situation to slavery.
“I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them. I had an economic system imposed on me.”
She also said she felt confronted by her fame.
“There were veiled threats, there was blacklisting. I was told ‘That’s how it goes, it comes with the territory. I came to be perceived as a cash cow, they forget there is a person in there.”
But former Fugees band mate Wyclef Jean said Hill had lost touch with reality and was “completely out of control.”
“Lauryn has some issues she needs to address,” he said.
Hill is said to releasing new music after signing a record deal with Sony Worldwide Entertainment earlier this year.