According to Glenn Reynolds: "Liberty Dog is a minarchist libertarian with Objectivist tendencies, but I can't even get my dog to crap outside."

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Friday, April 15, 2005

The Tax Man Cometh!

Since today is the official deadline for filing your taxes, I figured that I (like half the Blogosphere) would do a post about taxes.

A little research brought me to this per curiam filing by the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (which covers, I believe, CT, NY and VT).

The case, brought by well known tax protester Robert Schulz, was dismissed, but there was important language in the decision:
In light of this, we view ourselves today as completing a task begun forty years ago and hold that, absent an effort to seek enforcement through a federal court, IRS summonses apply no force to taxpayers, and no consequence whatever can befall a taxpayer who refuses, ignores, or otherwise does not comply with an IRS summons until that summons is backed by a federal court order. In addition, we hold that if the IRS seeks enforcement of a summons through the courts, those subject to the proposed order must be given a reasonable opportunity to contest the government's request. If a court grants a government request for an order of enforcement then we hold, consistent with 26 16 U.S.C. §7604 and Reisman, that any individual subject to that order must be given a reasonable opportunity to comply and cannot be held in contempt, arrested, detained, or otherwise punished for refusing to comply with the original IRS summons, no matter the taxpayer's reasons or lack of reasons for so refusing.

This is important in that it reverses prior precedent in that court and states that the IRS must bring action in Federal Court before they can bring action against you.

This is of course good news and hopefully a precedent that will be upheld in other courts.

However, don't be lulled into a false sense of security as this court only covers three states. I do believe the US Supreme court stated in United States v. Bisceglia that IRS summons hold no power without the initiation of a §7604 proceeding, but the language of the 2nd District goes further in my opinion. Besides, the IRS is well known to rely on the ignorance of the taxpayer when it is using its strongarm tactics.

There is a way to end all of the IRS madness. Write your Congressmen and tell them to support the Fair Tax, which while not perfect is a considerable step in the right direction.

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