Editor’s note: An historic meeting between leaders of the “tax honesty movement” and federal government officials will take place in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25 and 26, prompted by a successful hunger strike staged by tax activist Bob Schulz.
WorldNetDaily’s Geoff Metcalf and Jon E. Dougherty will be there to cover the proceedings. But as a primer for the upcoming hearings — which, activists say, hopefully will focus on their core issue of the income tax’s disputed legality — the following is the third in a series of reports discussing the IRS, the issue of taxation and an internal document from the IRS’ own website. That document is intended to guide the agency’s employees in how to deal with what IRS calls “frivolous tax arguments.” Tuesday, WND published Part 1, IRS bashes ‘frivolous’ tax arguments, and Wednesday it followed up with Part 2, Tax activists refute IRS claims.
A Washington man has filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court, asking justices to review a lower court ruling “involving federal income taxation that affects … the vast majority of Americans.”
Steven M. Beresford, Ph.D., from Vancouver, filed his motion Aug. 11 as a continuing action against the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department. He is petitioning the Supreme Court because of a ruling issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The motion comes just weeks before noted tax reform advocates are scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., with legislators and members of the IRS to discuss the legality of the income tax – an historic meeting that will be covered by WorldNetDaily.
“The primary question is the resolution of a due process conflict involving federal income taxation that affects not only the Petitioner but the vast majority of Americans, and is therefore a matter of national importance,” said the motion.
A writ of certiorari is a document that a losing party files with the Supreme Court asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a lower court. It includes a list of the parties, a statement of the facts of the case, the legal questions presented for review and arguments as to why the Court should grant the writ, according to the Tech Law Journal.
“On one hand, the IRS has published numerous authoritative admissions that the federal income tax system is based on voluntary compliance, specifically stating in one admission that the payment of federal income tax is voluntary,” said the motion. “Nowhere in these admissions are any exceptions or conditions applied to the term ‘voluntary compliance,’ nor is any special meaning attached to the word ‘voluntary,’ which is therefore construed according to its plain meaning.”
“On the other hand, the IRS routinely persecutes individuals who choose not to volunteer, frequently seizing property without a warrant and/or causing the dissidents to be incarcerated,” the motion said. “The lower courts erroneously dismissed the above-mentioned admissions as ‘frivolous.’ The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s ruling and declined Petitioner’s request to provide its findings of fact and conclusions at law.”
Beresford also argued that “the lower courts have repeatedly disregarded several important rulings” of the high court “on the subject of federal income taxation.”
“The secondary question is whether the lower courts were justified in disregarding these rulings,” Beresford said in his motion.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Bereford’s case on Feb. 23 by issuing a ruling against him. Also, he said the appeals court denied his petition for rehearing on May 17.
The appeals court affirmed a lower court’s ruling, in which that court granted the government’s motion to dismiss Bereford’s suit for refund of taxes.
According to Beresford’s filing, he chose not to pay taxes from 1987-1989, based on statements and portions of IRS code and Treasury regulations proclaiming the income tax to be “voluntary.” The IRS filed a tax lien against him in 1996 and collected nearly $15,000 in back taxes by forcing him to sell his home in 1999.
“The United States government has not defined ‘voluntary compliance,’ hence it is necessary to rely on the semantic attributes of the term,” the motion said, adding this definition from the 1988 edition of the Chambers English Dictionary: “Done without compulsion or legal obligation.”
One of the arguments Beresford chose was to claim that the Constitution prohibits a direct non-apportioned income tax.
Article 1, Section 2 says, in relevant part: “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers. …”
He also cited Article 1, Section 9, which states, “No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”
However, in a 25-page internal document entitled, “The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments,” the IRS refutes that contention.
“The courts have both implicitly and explicitly recognized that the Sixteenth Amendment (which authorizes an income tax) authorizes a non-apportioned direct income tax on United States citizens, and that the federal tax laws as applied are valid,” the IRS publication said.
“The Constitution makes important distinctions between direct and indirect taxes and sets up different conditions for imposing them,” Beresford countered in his motion. “Direct taxes are imposed directly upon individuals and include taxes on wages, salaries, and personal compensation. Direct taxes must be apportioned among the various states, according to the population of each State.”
By comparison, “indirect taxes are excises or tariffs imposed on things such as commodities, corporate profits, and stock dividends, and must be uniform throughout the United States,” said Beresford’s filing.
“Congress attempted to directly tax sources of income such as wages, salaries, and compensation for personal services through the Income Tax Act of 1894,” said the motion.
But the Supreme Court “thoroughly reviewed the Act in Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan & Trust Company (in 1895) and ruled it unconstitutional because it failed to meet the requirement of apportionment,” Beresford wrote in his motion.
“The biggest mistake made by the lower courts is their failure to consider or even acknowledge the evidence – the published admissions of the United States government regarding voluntary compliance,” he concluded. “Similarly, the lower courts failed to consider or even acknowledge the due process conflict caused by the IRS, which publicly admits that the payment of federal income tax is voluntary but persecutes those who choose not to volunteer.”
He also said the appeals court erred when it ruled that he contends “that the federal income tax system is based on voluntary compliance.”
That statement “is completely erroneous. Petitioner has never contended that the federal income tax system is based on voluntary compliance. It is the United States government, not the Petitioner, that contends that the federal income tax system is based on voluntary compliance, through the published admissions,” he wrote.
“Petitioner simply relies on these admissions as being true and correct, accepting them at their face value according to their plain meaning,” he said in his motion.