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A noted “tax honesty” organization is urging Americans to hold off filing their 2001 income tax returns until after it hosts a tax information hearing in Washington, D.C., next month.

“The very legality of the U.S. income tax system goes on trial Feb. 27 at a congressionally sponsored public hearing on Capitol Hill,” said a statement by the We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education.

The two-day hearing, originally scheduled for Sept. 24-25, was postponed until next month in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

At the hearing, the group, in its statement, said it expects “to prove conclusively that the IRS does not have the legal authority to force employers to withhold taxes from the paychecks of their employees, or to force most Americans to file a return or pay the income tax.”

“If the research is confirmed publicly, most Americans may be entitled to a refund of 100 percent of the income tax paid or withheld in 2001,” the statement continued.

In an effort to alert taxpayers, the group is sending out 300,000 letters and is running a newspaper ad campaign. Its “Wait to File Until the Trial” campaign is currently under way, according to officials with the group.

Public accountants, tax attorneys, independent business owners, lawmakers, news editors and the Libertarian Party hierarchy are among those targeted by the group’s awareness campaign.

The group is also planning live online coverage of the event, accessible at its website.

“The IRS and Department of Justice will officially and publicly answer detailed legal allegations directly challenging the jurisdiction of the IRS and the unlawful enforcement and administration of U.S. income tax laws,” We The People President Robert Schulz said.

Some lawmakers who back Schulz’ plan will attend the hearings.

“Our country has labored under a federal income tax system that is inconsistent with the liberty of a free people,” said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., in a letter of support sent to Schulz last year.

“Quite simply, the government of a free people should not tax the labor of its citizens, and it is imperative that the federal tax system not be repugnant (contrary) to the Constitution and its laws,” said Bartlett, who helped make the hearings a reality.


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