Part 2: Tax Honesty
In Part One of this series, I told of a time when I thought "Tax Honesty" meant telling the truth on your tax form. Thank God, those days are gone forever.
This chapter turned out to be harder to write than I expected; thanks for your patience, and for sharing it now with your interested friends.
Behold, the Agora! Voluntary, Free Exchange...
Photo courtesy of Juan ignacio Tapia and http://unsplash.com
Let's Make Something Perfectly Clear
To be clear, the Tax Honesty Movement is all about telling the truth about income tax, sales tax, and every other form of tax that governments are all too successful at levying. Honesty about taxation.
As I continue my story, you'll hear a little of the rather long history of how I learned the truth about taxation and how I reacted to that knowledge. You'll also hear what I presently think about the organizations and actors that have been increasingly destroying our lives.
In the early '90s, I somehow stumbled across Edmund Fitzsimmons.
Situated in Studio City, California, Fitzsimmons styled his organization "Truth in Taxation." I bought his "book" which was, as I recall, a photocopied report that went into considerable detail about the smoke and mirrors used to craft the US federal income tax.
"Could it be true?" I wondered, "Is it possible that the "average man" does not owe any income tax?"
I read Fitzsimmons' material, studied the law books -- I cross-checked what he said at both public and courthouse libraries -- and concluded that he was indeed correct.
According to the law itself, I didn't owe the government anything.
Bear in mind that this was back in the day when I still believed that some groups of men had a mystical superior authority to rule the masses. What I learned in that context was that, even if you subscribe to a belief in the authority of the state, the particular laws on the books - i.e. Title 26 USC - do not tax the ordinary day to day work of the average man. Even the 16th Ammendment is easily shown to be merely an authorization for an excise tax on certain privileged activities.
The problem is, the government fraudulently misrepresents the laws on the books and dishonestly and forcibly collects taxes that are not owed.
Face it: There is nothing "honest" about holding a gun to your neighbor's head and demanding he pay for what you want.
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If you're honest with yourself, that is exactly what you do (by proxy) when you support human government. You vote for, cheer for, and support the tyrants who (when installed "in office"), dispatch the agents with guns to extort money from your neighbors.
Let's talk about the biggest, baddest culprit of all; the I.R.S.
"Internal Revenue Service" is the name formally given in 1953 to an organization that acts as collection agency for the U.S. federal government. Almost universally despised, the I.R.S. nevertheless manages to fleece the vast majority of U.S. Citizens. How does it accomplish this?
The principle tools of the I.R.S. are media propaganda, fear, fraudulent misrepresentation of the law, and pitting citizens against one another.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Beginning in January of every year, the agency mounts a campaign that Dave Champion (another Tax Honesty promoter) calls "Tax Terrorism Season."
The IRS succeeds only by having successfully co-opted every living employer into holding back the money you earn from your paycheck before you ever receive it.
Governments and their accomplices (i.e. the banks, businesses, churches, schools, clubs, and all like-minded sycophantic government supporters) try to persuade you that things have always been as they are today. But that's simply not true. The thugs that claim to rule us constantly ratchet up their take, every day and in every way.
For example, check out this history of sales tax in the US.. Sales tax didn't used to exist. Neither did the income tax.
Shortly after finding "Truth in Taxation," I also found The Free Enterprise Society, a California group that researches and teaches tax honesty.
At one of their meetings, I learned that (despite the maze of complex and confusing laws) it might actually be safer to not file a tax return. It seems that when you fill out a form 1040 tax return, you are actually testifying against yourself, something that the system of laws in the United States was explicitly devised to protect you from.
And so, having learned that I did not owe the tax, even under "the law" as I then understood it, and that I had been testifying against myself for years, I ceased filing Form 1040 tax returns.
Handy Guide to Government Taxing
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I'm not really here to educate you on how to avoid paying taxes. This is more about my personal experiences and how the system has treated me.
I have observed the behavior of the government in the face of all inquiries for the past quarter century. Many of the words that come to mind are "hand" words. They include underhanded, mishandled, manhandled, ironhanded, hardhanded, highhanded, heavyhanded, sleight of hand, and offhand.
I have never known the government to be open handed, except to people who did not earn my money and who are looking for a handout. They handily dispatch any argument by labeling it "frivolous." Quick to apply handcuffs. Never evenhanded. They are blackhanders.
I have discovered, firsthand, that they will show up with handguns. They will manhandle you and never unhand you once they've gotten their hands on you.
Their many handbooks are also very, very dense.
There is NO due process when it comes to the application of tax laws in the US.
Because of the complicity between the government and banks and employers, if you are in a dispute with the IRS or the State Board of Equalization, your money is at risk.
Either of those agencies can (and do!) at any time send a simple FAX to the bank, or a letter to your employer. "Send us his money." And, guess what? The bank takes "your" money out of "your" account and gives it to the government. Your employer, instead of paying you what you've earned, pays the government.
They do not bother to ask to see court orders, of which there are none. The transaction is very simple; "Give us her money." "OK."
You say this has never happened to you? Just stop kissing their nether regions, and see what happens.
Been There, Done That, Had It Done to Me...
Becoming a Tax Honesty dissident has not been an easy, painless process. I have made significant mistakes, and have personally been abused at every turn by the federal and state governments.
I have had bank accounts seized. I have had companies that I worked for retain what they owed me, sending it to one or more government agencies instead. This, by the way, is defined in the law books as "conversion," a fancy form of theft. But, Good Luck finding a lawyer willing to fight for you to get your money back.
It takes an incredible amount of paperwork to administratively interact with the IRS minions, their lame form letters, their challenges and summons; to keep records of all correspondence, answering their frivolous objections and misrepresentations of the law and the facts.
At My Door With Guns
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There's nothing quite like having half a dozen or more armed and vested sheriffs, treasury agents, and who knows what other kind of police, show up suddenly at your door. This has happened to me twice in the last few years.
On what pretext were they there? To escort a couple of IRS agents to my door to hand me a piece of paper (a "first party IRS summons") that could have much more easily and at far less expense have been delivered by the US Post Office.
They were, of course, really far more interested in intimidation and in embarassing me in the eyes of my neighbors.
I was also hauled before a federal judge to explain why I refused to answer their endless list of questions in the summons. What's that? The 5th ammendment doesn't apply? That's right...
I Thank Jesus, my God, that said judge at least seemed to sincerely play by his own rules, and (for the most part) sustained my objections to the IRS inquisition.
Friends of mine have had even worse done to them. Armed thugs have entered and searched their homes. They have been thrown into jails. They have been dragged into court. They have been smeared in the media.
"of whom the world was not worthy" - Hebrews 11:38
Tax Honesty is not for cowards.
A Cautionary Call to Action
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If even ten or twenty percent of the population of the US were to STOP already! with the "voluntary compliance" (can you say oxymoron?) tomorrow, the IRS would collapse under its own weight in a matter of days. The beast which is the federal government would starve in short order. At the very least, it would become abundantly evident that it simply takes what it needs via the magic of "Federal" reserve "quantitative easing."
Can I simultaneously encourage you to take appropriate action, while taking all appropriate cautions to protect yourself and your family? I suppose that I can, though I understand that I'm not advocating something trivial or simple.
I do believe that ultimately, every self-respecting moral human being needs to face the question of whether or not, by their actions, they are living up to their own code of morals. Do you want the money you earn to be applied towards activities that are morally repugnant to you?
Before acting rashly, you certainly ought to research the matter in order to find the best path for you personally. Then ultimately, you need to determine what action you will take. Will you feed the beast, or will you attempt to starve it?
I certainly wish you the best of success, particularly if you choose the moral path.
Next Time - Part 3: Bye-Bye Politics
Leaving "Government" In My Rear-View Mirror
In case you want to catch up on past episodes:
About This Series
I'll be telling more of the story of my journey to voluntaryism than I've told anywhere before. I intend to include some strategies and examples, and hope to inspire you to action.
Comments, questions? Please "chime in" below!