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10 Popular Frivolous Tax Arguments

Some would-be taxpayers will do almost anything to avoid paying up to Uncle Sam – including using some pretty strange arguments to try to prove they are not legally obligated to do so.

While these may be entertaining, actually trying to use them can land you in a whole heap of trouble. It may even end up costing you up to $5,000 in fines.

Here are a few of the most popular:

1. Wages, tips and other compensation are not income.

Kind of makes you wonder what these guys do consider income, doesn’t it?

2. Taxpayer is not a citizen of the United States and so is not subject to federal income tax laws.

No, just…no. Not gonna fly.

3. Taxpayer is not a “person” and therefore not subject to federal income tax laws.

Since the IRS code defines a “person” as an “individual, trust, estate, partnership or corporation,” you would pretty much have to belong to some sort of sci-fi alien collective in order to be exempt.

4. Taxpayers can refuse to pay income taxes based on religious or moral grounds.

Your religion may be able to get you a healthier diet while serving in the armed forces, but it’s not going to be much help when it comes to hiding your money from Uncle Sam.

5. Federal income taxes constitute a breaking of the 5th Amendment, as a taking of property without due process of law.

Uncle Sam has more lawyers than you do.

6. Self-incrimination protection in the 5th Amendment protects taxpayers from having to file returns or provide financial information.

This one actually makes the IRS giggle quietly to itself.

7. Compelled compliance with federal tax laws is a form of servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment.


8. 16th Amendment was not properly ratified, and therefore federal income tax laws are unconstitutional.

Again, no.

9. African Americans can claim a special tax credit as reparations for slavery and other oppressive treatment.

As awful as oppression is, it still won’t get you out of paying your taxes.

10. Filing a tax return and paying taxes is completely voluntary.

Oh, if only this were true.

These are just a few of the tax arguments that some taxpayers attempt to use in order to get out of paying their taxes. In addition, filing frivolous tax returns such as the “zero return” – a return claiming no income and no tax liability – can get you into hot water as well.

If you really want to save money in the income tax arena, the best thing to do is to learn about the real credits that are out there, and stay abreast of the changes in the tax code by visiting the blog often.
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