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Tax Protestors, Witch Doctors, and the IRS

Written by Gary North on June 6, 2014

One of my goals with this website is to warn people against scams, or worse, dedicated suicidal nonsense, that can destroy their lives.

One of these high-risk sinkholes of futility is the tax protest movement. These people do not simply protest income taxes; they adopt weird strategies to justify the refusal to pay the IRS. They think they can find obscure interpretations of words in the IRS code, and thereby escape the obligation of paying taxes.

Lawyers and accountants of the super-rich find ways of avoiding payment, but they file income tax forms. They minimize their clients’ payments, but they do not subject their clients to the risk of jail.

In contrast is the tax protest movement, which used to call itself the patriot movement. It is made up of people who do not have much money. They pretend that they can successfully serve as their own lawyers. They pretend they don’t have to pay the IRS. They pretend that simple people using convoluted arguments that nobody can follow can escape the IRS. They pretend that they can persuade a jury of their peers.

The jury is always made up of people who pay their taxes, and who basically resent the idea that anybody else can avoid paying the taxes that they have to pay. In any case, a protester has to pay his taxes for him get in front of a jury. Before this, his case will be decided by someone called an administrative law judge, who in fact is an employee of the IRS. After he pays what he owes, he is then entitled to a jury trial to get it back.

The case laws of the IRS are not governed by common law. They are governed by Napoleonic law. You are guilty until proven innocent. The IRS can assess whatever it says you owe, and then you have to prove through your records that you do not owe it. If you do not prove it, you must pay.


From time to time, I get a letter from some well-meaning future victim who says that he has discovered a guru who has found a secret way out of paying federal taxes. The guru has adopted some arcane interpretation of words in the IRS code. This is basically a form of word magic. These people are not gurus; they are witch doctors. If you want to understand how they operate, think of being in a jungle. You wander through the jungle, lost, and stumble upon an open area, where a man dressed in peculiar garb is dancing wildly around a fire. Around him are natives dressed in loincloths.

Would you trust your financial future to this witch doctor?

There is a website devoted to detailed exposés of these tax-protesting gurus. The articles on the site provide summaries of the legal cases against them. You can find out how many of them served jail time. A lot of them have. The site is here: http://tpgurus.wikidot.com. You can look up any “don’t file” guru.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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24 thoughts on “Tax Protestors, Witch Doctors, and the IRS

  1. Gary, You should at least point out that most of the tax protest arguments are right. They just don't work in the real world where the IRS and the US government violate the law constantly. If we truly had rule by law then they'd be ok, but then again if we truly had rule by law we wouldn't have the 16th amendment and the IRS.
    Read more at http://teapartyeconomist.com/2014/06/05/50-years-

  2. My family knew of one tax protestor that somehow got very lucky with the court system, the IRS was engaged with some kind of fraud with respect to his filings and they actually backed off rather than reveal their crime in court.

    If that guy had just then kept his mouth shut he would have been living free of income tax the rest of his life. But no, he had to start promoting what he was doing and so the government cooked up other charges and got him sentenced to prison in a regular criminal court.

  3. Phillip the Bruce says:

    I agree that a massive class of huge numbers of Americans could defeat the IRS. It ain't gonna happen in this nation of sheeple.
    And what makes you think a flat tax would be a victory. We should be paying NO taxes to the national gunverment. State either, for that matter. Any taxes that exist should be at the local (county) level where there is accountability. State wants money, ask the counties. Feds want money, ask the states.

  4. For the most part, fighting the IRS by not filing is akin to looking into the muzzle of a gun, held by a madman and explaining to him that it is illegal for him to shoot you. Boom!!! See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  5. NoMoreMarxistsInDC says:

    Based on the recent “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military ban decision in a California Federal Court, a Federal Judge can use the words of the President in formulating her decision into a law through caselaw.

    If this is the case, then Obama's words that he wants to "redistribute wealth" also have meaning. If he is mandating that he wants to "redistribute wealth", then every taxpayer in the United States is allowed to claim over 320 Million dependents/exemptions on their W-2s, W-4s, 1099s, 1040s, etc. The case precedent for this is by a Federal Court in U.S. v. Snider, 502 F.2d 645 (4th Cir. 1974)(Listing 3 BILLION dependents on W-4 was ruled as proper because Defendants were conscientious objectors to the income tax based on their religious beliefs against the taxes being used to fund unpopular wars and giving tax monies in foreign aid to aid and comfort our enemies).

    The California-based federal judge who declared the military’s ban on homosexual conduct, known colloquially as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (DADT), is unconstitutional, based her decision in part on statements made by President Barack Obama himself.

    Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on Sept. 9 that the DADT policy, codified in 10 U.S.C. ss. 654, which states, “The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a long-standing element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service,” is unconstitutional, violating both the First and Fifth amendments.

  6. profitup10 says:

    We can close down the IRS, the NSA, FDA, ATF, BLM, Supreme court usurping powers, and restore State Sovereignty in one 20 word statement that will change the way we live.

  7. The 1998 IRS Restructuring & Reform Act was passed to stem abuses the IRS routinely indulges in. Yes, children, there once was a time when the IRS actually had to answer to Congress when they committed crimes against private citizens. The law created pre-collection due process hearings, at which a citizen being terrorized by the IRS could present legal documents showing how (s)he reached his conclusions about who the statutes apply to, and who the statutes don't apply to, what is "income" and what is not.

    Washington DC, the legal and CPA industries want you to believe that you have no rights, that you are a statutorily defined "taxpayer" (one word), that you owe a tax without protest that arrives in an unsigned, computer-generated form letter, with no signature or affidavit by the (usually bogus) printed name, that the sender somehow has first-hand knowledge that you failed to perform some obligation under the law.

    When you get a NOL or NOFTL, you are referred to as a "taxpayer"; there is an amount the IRS demands you pay immediately under threat, duress and coercion, without any hearing before an impartial judge or a jury of your peers. It's all hearsay, which are not legal conclusions.

    They want you to believe without question that you have no rights, that you are a slave. This article makes it sound like any reasonable human being who questions the tax code (my copy of the IRC runs to almost 9500 pages in 8-point type two-column pages — and that's over 10 years ago!) is some kind of kook. All this fascist dictatorship wants is your unquestioning obedience and servitude.

  8. Consider this: the legality of the state income tax is merely "piggy-backed" on the federal income tax. If seven states have no state income tax requirement, why not all 50?

    As for the federal income tax, if nothing else applied, it fails the fundamental test of "void for vagueness". Judges, prosecutors, lawyers and Congress have been arguing more than a hundred years over the meaning of "income".

    “Eight decades of amendments…to [the] code have produced a virtually impenetrable maze…The rules are unintelligible to most citizens…The rules are equally mysterious to many government employees who are charged with administering and enforcing the law.” ~ Former IRS Commissioner Shirley Peterson, April 14, 1993, speech at Southern Methodist University, Waco, Texas

  9. Robert What? says:

    Purely as an interesting tidbit of information – with no practical value when faced with a criminal organization like the IRS and a corrupted judiciary – I read that there is no actual law requiring you to pay Federal income taxes or file a return. The way i understand it is that after the 16th Amendment was passed (under great controversy) – Congress never codified it into actual laws. So all federal income taxes are paid based on misconceptions and fear of the IRS. Just wondering if this is true or pure fiction? And if true, on what legal basis are you actually required to pay federal income taxes and file a return? Anyone know the history of this?

  10. Guest 1 says:

    Dr. North is right – when you file Fictitious Tax Returns you get on the Federal Radar. You become a target.

    The result is pain.

  11. Guest 1 says:

    The Forty Three percent of US Citizens who do NOT pay Net income taxes push the other way. We cannot "close them down" because this bunch votes early and often.

  12. There is no question the IRS broke numerous laws by harrassing and singling out specific people for a specific political purpose. That is a fact not conjecture or a maybe. But we have an AG that will not enforce the laws or the constitution? That too is an illegal act and actually an act of terrorism ? Look up the definition and these criminals have committed many such acts and worse. These are all very serious issues and have far reaching affect on the credibility of our country and the basis of our society. We now see that the balance of powers is NOT working for a lack of Balls and noting else really? So you know who to rag on , set with it ! I am. We are in a war for this country and nothing less. I am in on the class action !

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  14. The legal basis is that if you don't pay, they will likely take the money anyway and put you in jail. The only people you can appeal to on this basis are federal judges who depend on the income tax for their salary. So it doesn't matter what the truth is, the government will ignore the truth when it suits them.

  15. "The case laws of the IRS are not governed by common law. They are governed by Napoleonic law. You are guilty until proven innocent."
    This is exactly right. It's the situation when you are dealing with any group of bureaucrats and their de facto law.

    The IRS is one of the most powerful entities on earth. They are practically a law unto themselves. It just doesn't make sense to take them on, head-on.

    A recent case in Nevada illustrates this. An employer paid his employees and vendors in gold and silver coin–US Government-issued gold and silver coin with the face value clearly stamped on it. The IRS, recognizing that the bullion value of these coins was far above their face value, prosecuted him for fraud.

    If he had paid in private mint bullion, with no face value stamped on the "coins", he wouldn't have been able to assign the artificially low values that he did. But then, he would have been in violation of legal tender laws.

    The IRS basically said, "Never mind the face value. The coins are worth much more, and he's cheating us." In other words, the testimony of those coins was rendered null and void by an edict of the IRS, which basically stated that the government's promises were not made to be kept, and besides, what're you gonna do about it?

    This was seemingly an instance of catching the government in their own fraud. But the jurors were seemingly not impressed. They voted to convict the man of fraud and tax evasion.

    Far be it from me to accuse the jurors of acting in their own best interests, but I'm sure it occurred to at least some of them that it might not be a good idea to vote for acquittal…after all, each one of them had to deal with the IRS themselves. And jurors' names are a matter of public record, are they not? And if they're not, might not an agency with the power of the IRS be able to get those names anyway, somehow?

    The IRS and its lawyers weren't even embarrassed. It may be because "They don't know how to blush." Jer. 8:12

  16. Wolfman says:

    Abolish the corrupt and over powerful IRS government tax collectors and go to a 10% flat income tax system

  17. profitup10 says:

    We can close down the IRS, the NSA, FDA, ATF, BLM, Supreme court usurping powers, and restore State Sovereignty in one 20 word statement that will change the way we live.

  18. profitup10 says:

    Yes by using Article V State Amendment process in the Constitution it is the State Legislatures that amend the Constitution repealing the 14th [take power from courts to legislate from the bench], the 16th ending income tax period, the 17th amendment restoring the Founders intended appointment of Senators by the State Legislatures so the State would have Representation at the table of government.

  19. Patrick Duffy says:

    The IRS is unconstitutional. A 'progressive' tax is forbidden by the equal protection clause of the constitution. Gary, it has nothing to do with manipulating the already unconstitutional IRS code. Furthermore, it is the obligation of the Christian to fight evil. So to just pay to support a system that funds murder is to join the beast.

  20. Robert What? says:

    Umm… didn’t I just say that? I was just asking if anyone knows the historical details and whether it is correct that there is no actual law that says you have to pay income taxes and file a return. Even if there isn’t, that and ten bucks will get you a latte at Starbucks, as they say.

  21. The Constitution says you cannot be deprived of property without due process of law. That means a hearing in front of an impartial judge, an opportunity to present legal arguments (including prior court decisions, known as precedent) in your favor and, more importantly, cross-examine the parties who are moving against you, who claim you have "broken the law".

    If the government seizes your bank account, paycheck, home, possessions, etc., without a court order, and before you have ever had your day in court, would you say you have been deprived of property without due process of law?

  22. ncbill12 says:

    IIRC in that case the employer, after paying the employee with, say. a $50 Gold Eagle, then offered to cash that Eagle in for its current value in FRNs.

    If the employer chose not to offer that service he'd have had a better argument.

  23. Aw shucks why not repeal Amendments 11 – 27?

  24. My personal favorite of all the "tax loopholes" found by various "witch doctors" is this one, because it illustrates how our leftwing government has, in Lenin's words, "debauched our currency."

    Some employers have agreed to a payment to contractors that is a tiny fraction of the actual dollar value of a job. However, the employer also agrees to pay the contractor in cash at the face value of gold coins. Last I heard, Congress has never declared these coins no longer legal tender, because it interferes with the demand from collectors. Even Chile minted a $20 peso gold piece that was legal tender — but no one would have used it to buy groceries.

    If the coins are sold, there will be a tax due on the profit, but the IRS doesn't want to wait. It wants tax revenue now. So it has moved to prosecute in these cases.