Some assert that they are not required to file federal tax returns because the filing of a tax return is voluntary. Proponents point to the fact that the IRS itself tells taxpayers in the Form 1040 instruction book that the tax system is voluntary. Additionally, the Supreme Court’s opinion in Flora v. United States, 362 U.S. 145, 176 (1960), is often quoted for the proposition that “our system of taxation is based upon voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”
The Law: The word “voluntary,” as used in Flora and in IRS publications, refers to our system of allowing taxpayers to determine the correct amount of tax and complete the appropriate returns, rather than have the government determine tax for them. The requirement to file an income tax return is not voluntary and is clearly set forth in Internal Revenue Code §§ 6011(a) , 6012(a) , et seq., and 6072(a). See also Treas. Reg. § 1.6011-1(a).
Any taxpayer who has received more than a statutorily determined amount of gross income is obligated to file a return. Failure to file a tax return could subject the noncomplying individual to criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment, as well as civil penalties. In United States v. Tedder, 787 F.2d 540, 542 (10 th Cir. 1986), the court clearly states, “although Treasury regulations establish voluntary compliance as the general method of income tax collection, Congress gave the Secretary of the Treasury the power to enforce the income tax laws through involuntary collection . . . . The IRS’ efforts to obtain compliance with the tax laws are entirely proper.”
I am well familiar with the grease that verily drips from an American lawyer. One of their favorite tricks is to use their secret word-of-art language and then remain silent for a time and glance left and right and wait to see if anyone notices.
Let us consider this statement:
“Our system of taxation is based upon voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”
Most people incorrectly interpret that to mean that it is a voluntary assessment of the precise amount that one owes. That’s not what that means. It is not the precise amount of tax liability that one is voluntarily assessing; it is the voluntary assessing of oneself to be liable for the tax at all.
The voluntary self-assessment comes in assessing oneself to meet the definition of the word of art “taxpayer.” Do you know what the meaning of that word is? I do. “Taxpayer,” within its use in the Internal Revenue Code, means a person who is liable for the tax.
The federal personal income tax is laid upon taxpayers. Taxpayers are District of Columbia citizens and any other who may elect to assess oneself as being a taxpayer. Filing a tax return at all is evidence that you are a taxpayer. Obviously you know your business affairs and your legal statuses better than the IRS ever could, so they can only take you at your word when you attest under penalty of perjury that you are the above-named taxpayer on the tax return.
Don’t file a tax return. That creates the legal nexus. Only taxpayers are obligated to file tax returns.
I elect not to assess myself to meet the definition of that word of art “taxpayer.” And I yield the balance of my time, up to and including the projected lifespan of the universe, as the prosecution may assiduously undertake to demonstrate that I do.
See? It’s that easy.
The entire internal revenue code is flim flammery. I’m living proof.
I am America’s Senior Comedian. Thank you for your kind attention in this matter.