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Tax activists refute IRS claims
Posted By Jon Dougherty On 08/22/2001 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Editor’s note: Brought about by the successful hunger strike of tax activist Bob Schulz, an historic meeting between the federal government and leaders of the “tax honesty movement” will take place in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25 and 26. WorldNetDaily will be there to cover the proceedings.
Leading up to this high-profile confrontation over the legality of the income tax, the following is the second in a series of reports discussing an internal document from the Internal Revenue Service’s own website. The document is intended to guide the agency’s employees in how to deal with what the IRS calls “frivolous tax arguments.” Part 1, “IRS bashes ‘frivolous tax arguments,” was published in Tuesday’s WorldNetDaily.
Tax experts, including one who spent a year researching whether enough states properly ratified the 16th Amendment – which authorizes Congress to collect income taxes — are as insistent as ever that Americans are not mandated to pay Uncle Sam a portion of what they earn every year.
“I’ve read all of the cases the IRS mentions” in its 25-page document entitled “The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments,” said Bill Benson, author of “The Law That Never Was,” a book many believe debunks the government’s claim that the income tax is legal and that the IRS is a properly authorized government agency.
Very simply, he says there is no actual law authorizing an income tax.
“They must have a law in order to have any of this [the income tax] to apply,” Benson told WND. “They must have a law from its inception, and they don’t have that.”
A former criminal investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue for nearly a decade, Benson said he has “17,000 certified and notarized documents showing that the 16th Amendment is an absolute, complete and total fraud.”
When asked where he got the documents, Benson said they came from “the 48 continental United States,” gathered during his one-year research effort in 1984 aimed at verifying whether or not the income tax amendment had been properly ratified.
But even activists within the “tax-honesty movement” grasp the reality of the mission they seek to accomplish: namely, to force an admission from the federal government that their arguments are correct. For Uncle Sam to admit his mistake could open the government up to unfair taxation recovery lawsuits that would make even the landmark tobacco litigation lawsuit – settled for hundreds of billions of dollars – pale in comparison.
“I have made it a personal stand not to argue the code with people. As far as I’m concerned, that is nothing more than willfully walking into quicksand,” said Devvy Kidd, another noted tax activist. “You can’t win the argument.”
In the IRS document cited by Benson, there are lots of references to court cases and IRS code. But the problem, as WND’s “TalkNetDaily” radio host and staff writer Geoff Metcalf points out, is getting the federal government to cite the legal chapter and verse of the law that requires mandatory payment of income taxes.
“I have often noted that if in fact we are compelled by law to pay income tax and the 16th Amendment was in fact properly and legally ratified (and it wasn’t), then the government should be able to conclude their response in less than five minutes by merely stating, stanza and verse, where the law is, and how it applies: ‘See here? Page such and such, paragraph such and such, subparagraph such and such. Now shut up and go home,’” said Metcalf.
One of the most compelling arguments of income tax opponents is the claim that the 16th Amendment was never even properly ratified, although understandably the IRS refutes that.
“This argument is based on the premise that all federal income tax laws are unconstitutional because the Sixteenth Amendment was not officially ratified, or because the State of Ohio was not properly a state at the time of ratification,” says the IRS document. “This argument survived over time because proponents mistakenly believe that the courts have refused to address this issue.”
However, the IRS says the amendment was properly ratified by “forty states, including Ohio, and issued by proclamation in 1913. Shortly thereafter, two other states also ratified the [A]mendment.”
“There were enough states … even without Ohio to complete” the required three-fourths of the states to ratify the amendment, said the IRS document. “Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the income tax laws enacted subsequent” to the ratification of the amendment.
In his research, however, Benson found that only four states ratified the amendment “without changing the wording.” He maintains that, constitutionally, states cannot change words or punctuation when voting to accept or reject a constitutional amendment.
“The only thing the states can do is accept or reject the wording (of an amendment) as is,” Benson told WND. “The legislatures of each state cannot change any of it. Otherwise, we’d have 48 different versions of the law.”
“What is stated [in the IRS document] is a bald-faced lie,” Kidd said.
“Since it was never ratified and we can prove it wasn’t, then apportionment is still in effect and again, everything else is moot,” she said. The government’s “progressive, unapportioned tax is, and always has been, unlawful.”
Rather than dicker over IRS codes, legal impressions and court cases, Kidd and other “tax-honesty” proponents believe the key to discovering the legality of income tax lies in proving these contentions:
Another area of concern, Kidd says, is that the courts themselves can’t even decide, in a universal manner, what constitutes an income tax or what the income tax really is — direct or excise.
“That’s a fact and it creates what is known as a problem [IRS] document,” she said.
Even former IRS commissioners have questioned the legitimacy of the very agency they serve.
“… We’re confiscating property now. … That’s socialism. It’s written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what’s happening to him,” lamented T. Coleman Andrews, the Democratic commissioner of the IRS during the first 33 months of the Republican administration of President Dwight Eisenhower.
But the one fact dogging nearly every tax honesty advocate is this: Regardless of the actual legitimacy of their arguments, the courts, Congress and most of the American public don’t see it their way.
The IRS can point to dozens of rules, regulations and court cases — many decided by the U.S. Supreme Court — backing the agency’s position that it has a right to tax all of the income earned by American workers.
Also, even critics of the agency acknowledge that it must collect the amount of money Congress approves in the federal budget every year. And once passed, Congress expects the Treasury Department to fill the nation’s coffers.
Finally, most states have agreements with the IRS to provide the agency with information. Under these agreements, individual states and the IRS notify each other about taxpayers that failed to file returns. The only state that does not have such an agreement is Nevada.
Nevertheless, tax activists say the September meeting in Washington, D.C., will once and for all provide them with an opportunity to address their concerns face-to-face with government and, hopefully, IRS representatives.
“We intend to prove our points at the hearings next month,” Kidd said.
“The law that never was,” a 2-volume set explaining how the 16th Amendment was never ratified, by Bill Benson.
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