General Question

naugamonster's avatar

We're Not Legally Obligated to Pay State/Federal Income Tax? It is a voluntary tax?

Asked by naugamonster (29points) May 19th, 2009

Can anyone direct me to a written law showing that private-sector American citizens are required to file a 1040 and pay INCOME taxes? (tax on our wages/labor)

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27 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I can direct you to a law on a dot-gov website that states pretty darn clearly what happens to you if you don’t pay federal income taxes. You go to jail. So if by “voluntary” you mean, your choice is your money or your freedom, the suuuure, it’s voluntary.

shockvalue's avatar

This movie should answer any questions you have… I watched it a few years ago, and now it’s on google video. Enjoy!
America: Freedom to Fascism

DarkScribe's avatar

Are you intending to volunteer to NOT pay it? Can I watch?

YARNLADY's avatar

@DarkScribe I’m with you on that one.
@naugamonster this has all been hashed and rehashed here and all over the internet.

If you believe it is voluntary, then join the thousands of people who already don’t pay their taxes and see where it gets you. In California alone, there is $6 BILLION in unpaid taxes according to the tax board. That is from thousands of people who simply do not pay.

cak's avatar

Wow. There are people that still believe this? Every year, we hear the same thing….a group of people that actually believe paying is voluntary.

hehehe….when you go to jail, let us know – some of us may become your pen pal(s)...if you ask politely!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Why do you ask/think that is??

I sure wish it was voluntary, ha! If it was voluntary then why do you think millions of people pay it every year??

bythebay's avatar

Good Grief

Lupin's avatar

I had a friend who didn’t file for three years. And one day he recieved a visit by a nice well dressed couple that looked very much like a certain group that goes door to door. He just ignored the doorbell. When he checked later for the expected Watchtower he found a letter taped to the door stating among other things, that he had 60 days or his property would be seized.
I guess he could have “voluntarily” ignored that one. But he didn’t.
I’m curious @naugamonster what made you think that was possible? What was your source? A recent email perhaps?

covedude's avatar

I tell you what to do Move to Canada, education and healthcare is free. sure you have to pay taxes but at least you don’t feel like your getting robbed by the big man and if you don’t pay you won’t go to jail cuz only violent people go to jail in Canada. We don’t even throw minour drug dealers in jail here we keep them on the street to entertain our American tourists :)- who just need a break from the human rights devouring gouverment there poor souls have to live with

jca's avatar

I read that the IRS has a specific department of people just to answer calls and correspondence from people who believe this. They say there are several different justifications – people quote old statutes, laws, etc. but they’re incorrect. it is not an option, and if you don’t file and pay the penalties and interest just keep adding up and adding up.

Others have asked but you haven’t answered – what’s your reasoning behind thinking it’s optional? if it were really optional, would the IRS be seizing all this property and imposing all these penalties?

naugamonster's avatar

Well, I had hoped for a few less “low road answers” from our Fluther crowd. Thought we were above the useless sarcasm. In my asking of the questions, no beliefs were stated. I’m inquiring – and as you all can see, no specific answer was provided regarding the law I’m asking for. This whole concept is new to me based on the “America: Freedom to Fascism” movie noted above. I thought it was hooey, myself! And now I have questions and want to get the bottom of it and don’t know where to start. Jca was the most helpful – “the IRS has a department for this?” Excellent. What/where is it? I’d like to go to the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Love to hear some actual useful info/data beyond the stream of “Don’t pay and let me watch you get arrested.” Can you go do that somewhere else and not on my thread? Please answer if you have an answer. An honest question deserves an honest answer, don’tcha think?

bythebay's avatar

Here; is this easy enough for you?

robmandu's avatar

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration

And you can read more about the challenges made against the 16th amendment… and how they’ve been legally rebuffed at each turn.

Anyone trying to tell you different now is likely selling something.

naugamonster's avatar

@bythebay – thanks for the obvious. I’m attempting to be a little more strategic and targeted in my search for information. Knocking on the front door or the IRS with my inquiry I think isn’t the most intelligent approach. I expect the most help fill come from folks who have seen that video. Then we’ll be on the same page.

bythebay's avatar

@naugamonster: I have seen the movie, and we’re still not on the same page. You said “I have questions and want to get the bottom of it and don’t know where to start. Jca was the most helpful – “the IRS has a department for this?” Excellent. What/where is it? There’s your answer, call them and they’ll talk to you.

YARNLADY's avatar

@naugamonster your comments put the lie to your question. The answer is all over the internet, and has been hashed and rehashed several times right here on Fluther.

naugamonster's avatar

@yarnlady, great reason to not have to reinvent the wheel here. I should be able to leverage some real data, answers and information and maybe some relevant personal experiences related to my inquiry. After Googling which wasn’t as productive, I decided to Fluther. Hashing and rehashing? As I would imagine. So where is the bottom line, last word, end of story, final debunk of the video/producer OR law/statute/etc. which folks are looking for? I’m seeing semantics, inference and (16th Amend.) interpretation as being the seeds for why folks are asking “where’s the law?” My inquiring (and skeptical) mind wants an answer, too. Doesn’t sound like its going to be served up on a Fluther plate. This might just be another one of those things that ebbs and flows and gets rehashed in perpetuity fought offline only by those willing to risk being taken to court by the gov. over it.

Again, where’s that law outlining how wages for labor (semantics: “wages” are apparently different from “income” which is considered “profit”) are taxable?

YARNLADY's avatar

@naugamonster Here’s how it works, you look at the official government sites and you look at the tax protester sites, and you choose what you want to believe. That’s how it always works. If you refuse to accept the Government’s answer, then you go with the protestors and take your chances. It entirely up to you. The final and correct answer is that it is not voluntary, and that is all there is too it. However (there’s always a however) you can chose to go with the protestors and believe whatever you want.

DarkScribe's avatar

@naugamonster The bottom line is common sense.

There are millions of very rich men out there with very good lawyers and very creative accountants who would much prefer not to pay tax. What do you REALLY think that the answer is?

If what you hoped was true, really was true, Al Capone’s heirs could sue for false imprisonment. I don’t think that is likely to happen.

Lupin's avatar

@naugamonster If you’re looking for one sentence that says: “You gots ta’ pay yo taxes!” You won’t find it. The whole code is the law.
This is true for almost every law you follow now. For example, the road in front of your house has a posted speed limit. They never say you should not speed. They define the infraction called “Speeding” and detail the penalties.
I just checked NYS Penal Code for Murder. They never say “Thou shalt not murder”. In Article 125 they define homicide, manslaughter, crim neg. homicide, ... murder 1 and then associate each with a classification: Class A felony, class B felony, etc. Then there are penalties associated with each class. It’s simple. You can’t murder someone just because the statute does not say “TSNM”! Same with taxes.

jca's avatar

if you want to know, call the IRS, tell them clearly you are not protesting paying, you are just curious what the various arguments against paying are, and just have a conversation with them. you are not putting yourself at risk of a hard time, because you’ll clearly state you do pay and will pay, you are just wondering where the basis lies.

0114oo's avatar

The answer can be found at
read the definitions page, where it states the definition of employee as being:

the term “employee” includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation.

though the use of employee in the definition can be confusing.

Also, the legal use of the term “persons” is interesting to look up as well.

Rude_Bear's avatar

The final arbitrator of all things legal and/or constitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States, has made it perfectly clear that imposing taxes is perfectly legal and perfectly constitutional.

GotBeer80's avatar

Great Question. Something that not too many people know is we really are not obligated to pay taxes. The only reason why we do pay taxes is for one the US gets all our money from Great Britain and our government makes us the hard working people pay back their debts. Second, when we sign our W2’s we use capital letters. ex. John Doe. if we signed like this, ex: john doe then that exempts us from having to pay taxes. Unfortunately if we do sign it like that they will refuse to take it. Signing any document with capital letters signs away all of our rights as an American. Another thing is that the IRS is not even a true American organization. How is it that the “land of the free” is not really free at all? We are modern day slaves and not too many people realize this!!

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