Talk:Tax evasion in the United States

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Historical tax evasion cases in the U.S. section of article[edit]

The tag in that section says cites are needed and I agree. I propose editors, such as myself, go to the original article about the person and find a long standing cite to support the text in this list. I started with adding cites to the case of Rep. Rangel. Please discuss. Geraldshields11 (talk) 17:52, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, and one thing we need to consider is the specific crime for which each individual was convicted, and how Wikipedia should handle this.
Here's the problem.
In the news media, and among the public generally, the term "tax evasion" is sometimes erroneously used broadly to refer to any criminal conduct related to taxation. To explain why this is incorrect, we can illustrate with federal tax law.
Federal tax crimes are imposed under Chapter 75 of the Internal Revenue Code, consisting of sections 7201 through 7344. Of these provisions, section 7201 is the tax evasion provision ("Attempt to evade or defeat tax"). A violation of section 7201 is a felony.
By contrast, willful failure to file a return (or, more correctly, willful failure to timely file a return) is only a misdemeanor, under section 7203. Willfully filing a false return is a felony (section 7206), but not quite as serious as tax evasion.
All these provisions (and other criminal tax provisions) under Chapter 75 are often lumped together by the media as "tax evasion."
Wesley Snipes, for example, has never been convicted of tax evasion, a felony. He was convicted of failure to file (section 7203), a misdemeanor.
I think Wikipedia could be opening itself up to some unpleasant scrutiny if we aren't careful about these details. I would suggest that the article needs to be careful to identify individuals who have been convicted of "tax evasion" only if they have actually been convicted of tax evasion.
An alternative would be to rename the article as "tax crimes", which of course would cover all federal (and state) tax crimes.
I bring this up because this has definitely been an issue of some contention in the talk pages of the tax-related articles in Wikipedia from time to time. If I were a victim of an incorrect characterization of myself as a "convicted felon" when such was not the case, or as having been convicted of "tax evasion" when such was not the case, I don't know that I would take sloppy reporting by the news media as a valid excuse for sloppy work in a Wikipedia article that mentioned my name.
Now, sometimes, a news media report will erroneously use the term "tax evasion" in the title of the report where the subject was convicted of something else, and there's nothing Wikipedia can do to change that. But we can at least strive to be accurate in the Wikipedia article text as a whole.
Thoughts, anyone? Famspear (talk) 18:43, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, this would be an example where the use of primary sources as augmenting sources would be beneficial and would help protect not only Wikipedia but the persons mentioned in the articles. If the actual conviction was Crime X, the fact that the news media report (a secondary source) erroneously says "Crime Y" because of sloppy work on the part of the reporter, a reference to the actual judgment of conviction (available on the Federal courts' PACER online system) would clear that up. As Wikipedia editors, we tend to prefer secondary sources over primary sources but, in this case, the failure to corroborate by checking the primary source -- if it turns out that the secondary source is wrong -- might be viewed outside Wikipedia as not being, shall we say, particularly prudent. Famspear (talk) 18:54, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

And moral[edit]

"Tax avoidance is both legal and moral"

And moral? Citation needed.128.97.68.15 (talk) 18:40, 24 January 2014 (UTC)