Sunday, April 20, 2014

Don’t Pull A Wesley Snipes on Your Taxes

February 24, 2010 by  
Filed under taxes

It amazes me the number of people I still come across that believe they don’t have to pay federal income taxes. 

Go for it. 

See how that works out for you.

Last week’s sad, quirky, and generally strange incident of a disgruntled taxpayer who flew his small plane into the Internal Revenue Service office in Austin, Texas reminded me of Wesley Snipes and his ludicrous claims that he should not have to pay federal income taxes.  They even had Wesley Snipes opine on the incident!

So to be clear, so you won’t end up in jail, the Internal Revenue Service has some insight on the basic claims Wesley Snipes, et. al use to convince themselves they don’t have to pay taxes – and why they’re wrong.

Common claims:

African Americans can claim a special tax credit as reparations for slavery.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Filing your taxes is voluntary.  Not a good argument to make.  Lots of case law supporting the government on this one.

Only foreign sources of income are taxable and personal services aren’t taxable.  That won’t work either. 

Perhaps taxpayers aren’t citizens?  Or the payment of federal income tax only applies to federal employees.  Sorry, that’s debunked too.

How about you can refuse to pay taxes on religious or moral grounds? Or that it violates the Fifth Amendment (against self-incrimination) – what the hell are you doing? 

Or a violation of the Sixteenth Amendment (had to look that one up!).  None of that will work either.

So please file your taxes, hopefully get a refund, and not waste time on frivolous claims.  You can face considerable civil and criminal penalties, none of which look good on your resume.

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