Tax Procrastinators and Tax Protesters…
There is a big difference between a tax procrastinator and a tax protester.
Tax procrastinators can put off till tomorrow the filing of a tax return until tomorrow is after the deadline for filing! Admittedly, this can go on for years. We have helped vast amounts of people like you! We are constantly preparing tax returns for people who have five, ten, fifteen, and even more years of unfiled tax returns!
Tax protesters, on the other hand, generally believe that the tax system doesn’t apply to them for various reasons. Therefore they choose not to file, or file returns showing zero income, with the intent that they don’t need to pay taxes. I’ve heard a lot of the arguments for taking these positions and many of those arguments seem to have a lot of merit. For sake of argument, let’s say that those arguments are right. I liken it to being run over while crossing the street in a crosswalk… you had the right of way, but you are still dead. I’ve personally seen cases where the tax protester filed these arguments all the way to court and was surprised by a letter they received while waiting for their day in court. The letter indicated that the court had heard these arguments before and that the case had no merit. Therefore, the case was kicked out of court, and the person never got their day in court at all. Instead, what they received was $50,000.00 in penalties ($25,000 each husband and wife). Bummer.
I have also seen Irwin Schiff, a leader in the tax protester movement, after many years of people indicating this guy proves that taxes are voluntary and not required, go directly to jail. Do know you what defense his attorneys presented turned out to be? Insanity! Yes, this great leader of the tax protester movement, when he had his day, decided that he must have been crazy for taking these positions! Interesting huh!
Does anybody remember “Judge Rizzo”? He’s another one that I heard about all the time several years back. It’s true, it’s hard to argue with a tax protester when he can show you pictures of a man in a black robe of justice touting the FACTS that the tax system does not apply to certain types of people. Until that is, the judge is disbarred and goes to jail!
None of this is secret; you can look their names up on the internet and find out for yourself how their situations and reputations turned out.
Now, PLEASE don’t get me wrong, I have no beef against a tax protester. As a matter of fact, when I meet a person who is fully convinced about their position as a tax protester, and they believe so strongly that the tax system is unjust, and they are WILLING to go to jail for that belief, I respect and admire them.
I just can’t help them, and I don’t want to sit in jail with them.
We HAVE helped people that have decided that they may have made a mistake by becoming a tax protester. If you have gotten into a situation where you have changed your mind about it, we can try to help. As a matter of fact, the aforementioned couple that was fined by the courts $50,000, we were able to get the penalty waived. I wish I could say it was due to knowing a certain IRS code that mandated the fine be waived. Nope. Truth is, I met the nicest IRS attorney of my life, and she in kindness and compassion, did us a big favor and wrote the judge requesting it. Don’t bank on that happening. It was luck and circumstance mixed with a fairly new attorney.
Please Please Please, don’t try to convert me. If you are a tax protester and believe in your heart that you are right, good luck to you, but please don’t schedule an appointment. It will be a waste of your money.
You probably are not aware of this, but as a professional we can be charged a $5000.00 fine, or even lose our right to practice before the IRS for taking such positions. It’s considered frivolous to carry forward a case that has no merit (i.e. it’s been heard by the court so many times and ruled against, that the court deems it a waste of its time).
On the other hand, if any of you (tax protester or tax procrastinator) decide you want help getting back into the system, we would love to help you. We have a lot of experience in this area that you may find very helpful.
One last story about this…I used to receive videos and letters promoting the tax protester movement. They were always sent anonymously so I never knew who the people were that were sending me the info. In any case, one day a client showed up after the case was completed, admitted that he and his business partner had been sending me the info. Turns out, they were both arrested at gunpoint by criminal investigators of the IRS! My new friend and client decided he’d had enough and agreed to cooperate and file the tax returns. Great guy and we still keep in touch. His partner wasn’t so lucky, as he still felt the tax system was voluntary. Last I heard he was still in jail. Honestly, it’s just not worth it!
The reason I’m so adamant about this is that I’ve seen the fallout from taking these positions. I’ve seen people go to jail. I’ve seen the financial chaos that happens when the IRS catches up and many years’ tax returns have to be filed and I have seen the large large bill not only for the taxes but the myriad of penalties and the ever present interest that accumulates and compounds DAILY. I’ve even seen people who feel their terminal illness is a result of the stress. I have seen numerous marriages torn apart by the financial stress of the fallout from this issue. So yes, while I generally don’t take a big stand on issues, in this case I would highly recommend you get the thoughts of protesting out of your head. Don’t do it. If you do, good luck. But please don’t call.