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Frivolous Tax Arguments

Updated on April 12, 2014

Don't try to get out of filing your tax returns

With many U.S. citizens preparing to file before the April 15th deadline, the IRS released on the 11th the frivolous tax arguments that people in the past have tried to use. While it is tempting to try to fight paying taxes, it is a reality that living and earning in the U.S. requires payment for federal taxes. The point of the bulletin that was released is stress the repercussions from failing to follow these requirements. One of the points stressed in the amount of fines, penalties, and even jail time the person, tax preparer, and even the promoters of these tax arguments can face. Like said earlier it is required to file a tax return on any money, whether in the form of interest payments, wages, or other methods such as inheritance, earned. The U.S. government under the 16th Amendment, detailing the guidelines and methods used to address paying and filing returns to the federal government, created this requirement.

One of the many tax arguments is that the 16th Amendment was not ratified because Ohio was not a state at the time. This is not true, please do not try to use this argument, seeing as how many people have tried and failed, with the IRS listed 6 different cases where some one has tried and failed. Some of the fines enforced can amount up to $25,000 and some face jail time of up to 5 years. It has been addressed the Ohio was a state at the time but more importantly that Congress only needs three/forth of the states to ratify it and this was true even without Ohio.

Another argument is that taxes are voluntary. While the amendment states this, it also clarifies that U.S. citizens earn the right to compute and file their own tax returns. This means that the government cannot come to a citizen and say they owe any specific dollar figure, unwarranted and not based on any other figures. This goes back to the very principle that the U.S. was founded on because of the crown imposing ridiculous taxes. Instead of saying if you own land, you have to pay $10,000 to the government; it is based on each person’s individual situation. Each citizen voluntarily chooses (in the eyes of the government) what each one does and in the end have the right to argue for the amount of wages earned. That is where the voluntary argument is stressed.

Some have tried to say they are not citizens of the U.S., renounced their statehood, and do not owe taxes. Again, many court cases were presented to dispute this claim. To put it simple, unless the person or persons have been able to fight the government to take control and own the actual land they live and work on, the money earned is subject to federal income tax. If a person rightfully wants to give up citizenship, he or she would literally have to move out of the country, not just denounce federal citizenship and withhold only statehood and become a citizen of another country. Since each state has adopted the U.S. Constitution, each state also is subject to federal taxes. The truth to that is many other countries have higher taxes, especially because many have more state-run programs. So, enjoy that wonderful change.

Remember, filing a tax return is required, paying taxes is required, and even if you earned nothing, a person is required to file a tax return. Attempting to use a frivolous argument on the IRS is not wise. Since the ratifying of the 16th Amendment, many people have tried and failed miserably to get out of paying taxes. Risking the possibility of using these arguments or even suggesting to another person to do so will result in the person still having to file a tax return, plus usually penalties, interesting (which is usually compounded based on how long ago these taxes were disputed), and additional fines. Finally the person who failed to file the taxes could even have to do jail time because he believed he could cheat the system. While many people argue the power the government have on the people, which is each U.S. citizen’s right given by the founding fathers, the idea should be fought with words in hopes to change the system proactively, not retroactively.

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