The IRS: Is It Legal?
Defectors In the Ranks
Claim: "The rest of the ruling backs up our claims"
Buried within the the Brushaber ruling was the following tidbit: "The Federal income tax statute does not violate the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against the government taking property without due process of law." Further, "the power of the Federal Government to levy taxes of all sorts was undisputed."
The outcome is similar in the tax defiers argument that the IRS has no legal right to tax the income of American citizens. This claim blatantly denies the validity of Section 1 of the Constitution and also fails to acknowledge the various laws in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that explicitly require Americans to file income taxes.
However, even with all these debunkings, confusion remains, even within the IRS.
Sherry Jackson, former IRS accountant turned tax defier, was given the maximum sentence of four years for failure to file federal income taxes. Jackson has consistently claimed there are no laws requiring citizens to file. (She is scheduled for release on August 8, 2011.)
Even former IRS commissioners sometimes add fuel to the fire, as Shirley Peterson did when she stated, "Eight decades of amendments...to (the) code have produced a virtually impenetrable maze... The rules are... mysterious to many government employees who are charged with administering and enforcing the law."
Peterson's quote, while not questioning legality, does imply a lack of credibility and certainly motivates tax rebels. Teapartyactivists.com, a sober-minded blog representing the Tea Party movement, has the following to say: "Our current income tax system has become a hodgepodge of favors, punishments, and often completely capricious rules that politicians and bureaucrats can use as a carrot or a stick depending on the political mood."
Author David Cay Johnston goes even further: he cites an example of a Warren Buffet-held company with $665.9 million in deferred income taxes. Using federal tax law, the dollars remain fixed even while inflation increases. As Johnston calculates, the value of the deferment will save Buffet's holding company $375.9 million dollars by the time it expires.