1 Isn't it "unchristian" of us not to pay our taxes?

There are two places in the New Testament where Jesus talked about paying taxes. One is in Matthew 18, where evil people tried to trap Jesus and He said to "Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." My publisher points this out in the preface of my book.

The second place in the New Testament where this issue is addressed is Matthew 17, verses 25-27 and to my mind this is even more telling. In this passage, Peter is questioned about whether Jesus pays taxes, in this case a temple tax. Before Peter could ask Him about it, Jesus asks Peter a question. He asks "From whom do kings on the earth collect tolls or tributes? From their own subjects, or from foreigners?" When he said, "From foreigners," Jesus said to him, "In that case, the subjects are exempt. However, so that we don’t offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, open its mouth, and you will find a coin. Take it and give it to them for me and you."

Now I don't know how more clear anyone can make it. Taxes are to be collected by those in authority from people other than the citizens, which are exempt. I find it interesting that so as not to offend, Jesus told Peter how to go pay the tax for both of them.

This website is about following the law of the land, which says FIRST OF ALL that you cannot be required to testify against yourself, and a tax return certainly makes you do that. And we must follow the Fifth Amendment first. Paying taxes, or not paying taxes--that would be a separate issue which is not discussed in my book.


What would happen to the Federal government if no one paid their income taxes?

Prior to 1913, we didn’t have a personal income tax. It wasn’t needed then. It isn’t needed now. Corporations were taxed then, as now. In fact, a personal income tax was attempted during the Civil War. The Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. And there is some question as to whether the 16th Amendment, which authorized an income tax, was ever properly ratified anyway. The reality is that 5% of the people in this country pay more than 50% of all the federal income taxes collected. Do you know what would happen if all that money went into business, instead of into the government? We’d be creating even more jobs and the companies would be paying even more taxes than the people do. It’s basic economics, but try to tell Congress that!

Isn’t it a crime to willfully fail to file tax returns?

Yes, but the question is—“What is willful failure to file?” Section 7203 of the IRS Code states that the IRS may prosecute people who “willfully” do not file tax returns. Congress was very careful to make the aspect of “willfulness” important for the crime because the tax system is so complicated.

In 1991, a fellow named John Cheek took the issue of proper and adequate jury instructions relative to “willful­ness” up to the Supreme Court. The Cheek case is very important because it means that individuals who rely on attorneys and other professionals in making their decisions about this complex tax system are entitled to inform the jury as to the extent of their reliance.

It also means that the jury must be instructed to view the defendant’s actions subjectively, not objectively. In other words, the juror has to put his own pre-conceived notions aside of whether or not the juror believes everyone must file.

The jury has to get inside the defendant’s head and try to determine if he really believed, based on the defendant’s own research and the advice of the attorneys he consulted, that he acted in good faith, and truly believed that his research in toto indicated that he was not required to file. When it can be shown that one’s actions were based on a good faith reliance on professional advice, the element of “a willful violation of the law,” essential for a conviction, is conclusively eliminated.

It is apparent to me that the Cheek case destroyed the ability of the IRS to prosecute individuals for “willful” failure to file who have followed the procedures outlined in this book.

4 Are books and records exempt from the Fifth Amendment protection?

Books and records are not protected. If people admit to having books and records, they waive their fifth amendment rights to them. By taking the fifth in regards to books and records, you do not have to admit even to having them, even with a subpoena.

5 What about audits? There is no statute that says you even have to attend an IRS audit.

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Last revision: August 14, 2009 08:07 AM
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