Talk:Tax protester constitutional arguments

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Good article Tax protester constitutional arguments has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

/Archive 1

Unsourced commentary[edit]

The following unsourced commentary by IP has been moved from the article to here:

However, the key point of the quotation--that constitutional restrictions on the federal taxing authority can (or do) exist--is pertinent in this and any legal action involving the tax code.

It is certainly correct to say that constitutional restrictions on the federal taxing authority can (or do) exist. It would also be correct to say that those restrictions are pertinent in some but not all legal actions involving the tax code (and pertinence depends on the nature of the controversy, as the vast majority of legal actions involving the tax code do not involve any dispute about the constitutionality of any code provision). Those points are not, however, the key point of the quotation, in my view.

The key point of the quotation is that it's OK for Congress to call something income and tax it as income even if it's not really income -- for the simple reason that there is no constitutional restriction that prevents Congress from doing so. The court is essentially saying (or implying) that the restrictions in the Constitution (such as apportionment for direct taxes other than income taxes, geographic uniformity for indirect taxes, no tax on exports, revenue measures must originate in the House, and so on) are NOT restrictions on what the Congress may or may not tax as "income."

More to the point -- whether IP is correct about what the "key point" is, or whether I am correct about what the key point is -- it is not for either of us as Wikipedia editors to decide for ourselves and write in the article itself what we believe the "key point" of the quotation is. The article could, however, show what reliable, previously published third party sources have said the key point is. In the absence of such previously published third party source statements, the quotation can pretty much stand on its own. Yours, Famspear (talk) 21:35, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Daniel B. Evans[edit]

Aren't we using an awful lot of legal commentary by Daniel B. Evans, considering he doesn't seem notable enough to have his own article? (What actually made me curious was the use of one of his quotes in the first-paragraph, pre-TOC text on the Tax protester article.) — atchius (msg) 04:52, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Evans is a source, a secondary source. He is possibly the single most authoritative secondary source on tax protesters (considering the amount of work he has done on the topic), and has been quoted on this topic in places like the New York Times, if I recall correctly. I'm not sure I agree (or disagree) with the contention that he is not notable enough for his own article but, in any case, I don't think that notability of Evans for his own Wikipedia article is a prerequisite for using him as a Wikipedia secondary source, especially on a topic like this where he seems to have done more research than almost anybody else. Famspear (talk) 12:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps we should create an article for Evans. Seems notable enough to me. Morphh (talk) 13:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Evans is a biased source therefore shoud not be heavily relied upon, as he currently is. The tax protesters themselves should be the one who presents their argument. Not the person who you think should be the one to present it. The fact that he is an attorney and has done a lot of research is irrelevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JS747 (talkcontribs) 09:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, no one gets to "present their argument" here - see WP:SOAPBOX. The tax protesters have every opportunity to present their arguments in court. We simply report what the courts determine the law to be. If a court ever upholds a tax protester argument, that will be reflected here. Cheers! bd2412 T 09:09, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
That seems reasonable. However, arguments are being presented by Evans and other editors are presenting his arguments. He is not a news reporter nor is he a court reporter. He is an attorney with his own opinion which makes references biased when he is heavily relied upon. JS747 (talk) 09:35, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Dear user JS747: With all due respect, I think that you as a newcomer are laboring under some misunderstanding about how Wikipedia works. Here's why.

Daniel Evans is a source. Under the rules of Wikipedia (including Neutral Point of View), as shocking as this may sound, sources are allowed to be biased. Sources are not required to be neutral. Wikipedia articles do indeed properly contain biased and non-neutral opinions of such sources. Please read the rules on Neutral Point of View.

Evans is a leading authority on tax protester arguments. The fact that he has a law degree, is an attorney, and has done lots of research and has been cited by others (including the New York Times) is indeed both legally and logically relevant to the use of his work as a reliable source on a legal topic.

From the rule on Neutral Point of View:

As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints. The neutral point of view policy is often misunderstood. The acronym NPOV does not mean "no points of view". The elimination of article content cannot be justified under this policy by simply labeling it "POV". The neutral point of view is a point of view that is neutral, that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject. Debates within topics are described, represented and characterized, but not engaged in. Background is provided on who believes what and why, and which view is more popular. Detailed articles might also contain the mutual evaluations of each viewpoint, but studiously refrain from asserting which is better. One can think of unbiased writing as the fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate, including the mutual perspectives and the published evidence. When editorial bias toward one particular point of view can be detected, the article needs to be fixed.

See: [1] (bolding added).

If, for example, a liberal think tank supports a particular position about whether the Alternative Minimum Tax is good or bad, it is OK to document that in Wikipedia with an adequate description that it is the liberal think tank that is taking that position. You cannot delete "points of view" in Wikipedia merely because they are liberal, conservative, leftist, rightist, etc. Neutral point of view does not mean the absence of bias in the SOURCE MATERIAL. In essence, it is OK for the source material to be biased, and it is OK for the source itself to be biased, as odd as that may sound to a newcomer. Neutral point of view means that Wikipedia itself does not take a position that this source's viewpoint is correct, or that some other source's viewpoint is incorrect. Yours, Famspear (talk) 16:44, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I understand that a source is not required to be non-biased. However, when I scroll thru the edits that have been made on these series of tax protester pages, what I see is many of the sources that are biased in favor of protesters are routinely removed and the sources the are biased against protesters are not. This is what concerns me as this activity results in biased articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JS747 (talkcontribs) 17:48, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Utterly and demonstrably false statements are routinely removed from all Wikipedia articles. If someone says "Court X stated that there is no income tax", and a review of the opinion cited shows that Court X said no such thing, of course that nonsense will be removed. The same goes for fatuous assertions that the IRS can not point to the law that requires taxes be paid - when, in fact, the IRS has an entire webpage outlining the laws which require that taxes be paid. bd2412 T 18:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Also, I completely disagree with the contention that Daniel Evans as a source is "heavily relied upon" in this article. As best I can tell, there are only two quotations from Evans in the article.

By contrast, a quick rough reading shows this article contains about 87 footnotes -- including citations to at least 43 actual court decisions, often with direct quotations from the texts. The number of citations to reliable, previously published third party sources is overwhelming.

Indeed, a large portion of the sourcing for this article -- especially the court cases -- came from the tax protesters who have posted it right here in Wikipedia! These are many of the very same court cases that tax protesters love to cite on scam websites (and of course the tax protesters cite these cases with fake quotations, or quotations taken out of context, or blatantly fake statements that a court ruled one way when the court ruled the opposite, and so on). Some of the fake quotations ended up here in Wikipedia, and are exposed in this very article. Famspear (talk) 17:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Dear Famspear: If you read my comments you will see that I did not make the assertion that he is "heavily relied upon" I simply stated that he should not be heavily relied upon since he is a biased source. Do you disagree with this as well? Furthermore, your statements asserting that Evans is a leading authority on tax protester arguments, is a matter of opinion and I believe that it should be noted as such. What are the "qualifications" for one who can be considered a "leading authority"? Who is to determine these "qualifications"? As you can see, these "qualifications" would be impossible to determine by anyone editing these articles without exhibiting bias. However, everyone is certainly entitled to express their opinion. Also, I never made the assertion the Evans is not both legally and logically relevant to the use of his work as a reliable source on a legal topic. Did I say that his work was irrelevant? I don't believe I did. So I can't see why you would bring this up in response to my comments. I simply was stating that he is a biased source, should be noted as such and should not be heavily relied upon. Do you disagree with this statement? JS747 (talk) 18:27, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Dear JS747: Well, the purpose of this talk page is to discuss ways to improve the article. Therefore, when you wrote (with bolding added by me):

Evans is a biased source therefore shoud [sic] not be heavily relied upon, as he currently is. The tax protesters themselves should be the one who presents [sic] their argument. Not the person who you think should be the one to present it. The fact that he is an attorney and has done a lot of research is irrelevant.

I assumed that you were talking about the Wikipedia article and the supposed "reliance" you feel is placed the article itself, on Evans as a source. I think a reasonable inference from your statement would be that you were indeed making the assertion (1) that you feel Evans is "heavily relied upon" in the article itself -- currently, right now, and (2) that you feel this reliance is "bad" because Evans is biased. That's my reading of what you said.

The statement that Evans is a leading authority is indeed my opinion. He is just one source in the article. Do you want me to list his credentials here?

Regarding your statement:

Also, I never made the assertion the Evans is not both legally and logically relevant to the use of his work as a reliable source on a legal topic. Did I say that his work was irrelevant?

Again, these were your exact words:

The fact that he is an attorney and has done a lot of research is irrelevant.

(bolding added).

So, in what way do you think I misinterpreted what you wrote? Famspear (talk) 18:53, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Incidentally, my apologies to all editors for my overuse of the bolding function today. I'm feeling overly feisty, and I haven't had lunch yet. Famspear (talk) 19:03, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Dear Famspear: I agree I did make the assertion that I believed he was "heavily relied upon". However, I was mistaken when replying to your comments since I believed that you were commenting on my most recent comments and not the entirety of comments that I had made. I apologize for any confusion that may have caused.
The comments that I made with regards to him being an attorney and "has done a lot of research is irrelevant", I believe you may be inadvertently taking these out of context. Or, maybe I just did not make myself clear enough. The comments about him "having done a lot of research is irrelevant" was not an attempt to question the reliability of his work but rather they were addressing your assertion that this is what makes him a "leading authority". I do not believe that simply because he is an attorney and has done a lot of research is what makes him a "leading authority". However, it seems that we are both is agreement in saying that purporting him to be a "leading authority" is a matter of opinion. The question to ask now is: Does stating your opinion in the article push it towards your pov? I don't see how it can't.--JS747 (talk) 08:14, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
First, attorneys are generalists - that means that we train ourselves to become experts as the case demands; attorneys are, in particular, trained to research the law and determine from legal precedents what the courts have set forth in response to specific situations. Note that a law degree is a postgraduate degree that is more rigorous than any masters degree, and as much as some PhD's. Second, a review of the other parts of Dan Evan's website (specifically his posted CV) show that he graduated cum laude from a well regarded law school, has been admitted to the practice of law for over thirty years, is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, has served as an officer in several American Bar Association sections, and has a substantial number of publications in a number of areas. Third, Dan Evans has, for whatever reasons, done an extensive amount of research on tax protester theories. His tax protester FAQ is enormous, thorough, and extraordinarily well-cited. He is, by any objective standard, an expert in this area of law. bd2412 T 08:40, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Dear JS747: Thanks for the clarification. On your comment: "The question to ask now is: Does stating your opinion in the article push it towards your pov? I don't see how it can't" -- the answer is that inserting Daniel Evans opinion into the text of the article is indeed an insertion of Daniel Evans' POV (point of view). Again, that's perfectly fine under the rules on Neutral Point of View (per the quotation from the rule, above.)

Now, let's look at your comment here:

I understand that a source is not required to be non-biased. However, when I scroll thru the edits that have been made on these series of tax protester pages, what I see is many of the sources that are biased in favor of protesters are routinely removed and the sources the are biased against protesters are not. This is what concerns me as this activity results in biased articles.

I think that what you might be feeling that the article overall is biased. What you may be thinking is overall bias is actually the weight of the authority. Remember, tax protester theories are legal nonsense. Not one has ever been upheld in one single Federal court case. In a Wikipedia article on tax protesters that conforms to the rules on Verifiability, Neutral POV, and No Original Research, the average reader is still going to come away with the sense that tax protesters are a bunch of misguided souls -- or worse. The reason for that is not that the article is biased. The article is presented with a Neutral Point of View -- but contains "biased" or "non-neutral" statements from sources -- which is perfectly OK. The reason for that is that the "evidence" (to use term in a non-legal sense) is overwhelming. There is literally no legal basis for tax protester arguments whatsoever. Indeed such arguments have been ruled not only to be without legal merit, but worse: they have been ruled to be legally frivolous. The mere fact that you get the impression from the article that one side is right and the other side is essentially nutty does not necessarily mean that the article itself lacks neutral point of view.

I don't know what you're referring to when you say that sources "in favor of protesters" are routinely removed. You may want to consider providing some examples, and then we can show (to the extent not already explained on the talk page or the edit summaries) why a particular source was removed. Famspear (talk) 18:14, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

As an aside, there are a good number of peer-reviewed law review articles published by esteemed professors in reputable journals which address tax protester theories (I'll leave it to your imagination to guess what position they universally take). We can certainly supplement the sources in this article with their expert analysis. bd2412 T 19:03, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
For future reference, Daniel Evans has been cited by Eva Rosenberg at Fox News Market Watch, here: [2], on 17 January 2008, in "The IRS Is Getting Serious About Tax Protesters' Frivolous Claims". Yours, Famspear (talk) 23:09, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Even so, there are lots of strong authorities that express this position - why rely on just one? I'm putting something together - I think you'll find it appropriate. bd2412 T 23:17, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Dear BD2412: Yeah, and since you're working on this, I am happy to hang back. The real world is closing in on me right now. I located one or two law review articles on tax protesters a while back, but it's just gonna have to wait. Yours, Famspear (talk) 23:41, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break (should have been put here in the first place)[edit]

Famspear, you are a JOKE! Is this article about TAX PROTESTOR ARGUMENTS or RESPONSES to taxpayer arguments? Imagine an article on Jesus Christ being ONLY about Pontius Pilate's judgment of Christ. After all, his ideas were "rejected by the courts" in Judea. They even sentenced him to death and crucified him. That MUST mean his ideas are "conspiracy theories", amnd that MUST mean his ideas should NEVER be presented without a SWIFT denounciation of them by reference to the court's unanimous "rejection" of them. Imagine if an article on Martin Luther was ALL about the Catholic church's response to Martin Luther. Imagine if an article about Israel was ALL about the Arab responses to Israel. Imagine if an article on Darwin was only about the church's response to the theory of evolution. Imagine if the article on Gallileo was ONLY about the churches' "rejection" of his ideas. HAVILY BIASED and intellectually challenged people like you have no place in civilized society, let alone as the ONLY voice on an encyclopedia on a matter affecting millions. As long as you can be a block on any meaningful information getting on this page on this topic, this article will remain the JOKE that you are. Cheers back to you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:59, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Dear anonymous editor at IP70.231.242.82: Thank you for sharing that with us. You may want to consider re-reading the article. It's full of both (A) tax protester arguments and (B) responses to those arguments in the form of court decisions, etc.
Also, I am not a "block" on "meaningful information" getting on this page on this topic, and neither is anyone else. I have no ability to block anything.
I am not "HAVILY BIASED" as you put it, and I am not "intellectually challenged," and I do indeed "have my place" in this civilized society. Please refrain from making personal attacks on Wikipedia editors. You may want to review Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Yours, Famspear (talk) 19:30, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

While I strongly disapprove of the personal attacks of the anonymous user, he did make some good points. The style of this article is the following: 1.protesters claim this and this 2.this was rejected in this and this trials. This form can subconsciously imply that the protesters are wrong since the court ruled it so. While I acknowledge most of the people here sincerely believe this, I nevertheless believe a ruling of a court is just another point of view (for example US being a totalitarian country where courts uphold the ruling parties instead of laws, and people protesting against it) and therefore court's point of view should not be allowed to have the last saying on each point protesters make. I believe this two points of view should be kept apart. Smalcat (talk) 20:34, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Ultimately, when determining if a tax is valid, or a theory is frivolous or not, it is the decision by the courts that decides if the argument is right or wrong. Thus far, the theories the protestors use have consistently been found wrong by the courts. It's not just a "point of view", it's the deciding point of view. --Ravensfire2002 (talk) 03:09, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Ravensfire2002 is correct. Actually, one of the arguments impliedly raised by tax protesters, even today, is that there is some sort of "real law" that is different from what the courts rule the law to be, and that court rulings are just "another opinion." Under the U.S. legal system, that view is certainly incorrect, and indeed that view is itself legally frivolous. The view betrays a basic misunderstanding of how the U.S. legal system is set up. Court "opinions" about the law are not merely "opinions of fact" in the same way that you or I might have an opinion. I may believe that Paris is a beautiful city, and lots of other people may agree with that -- but it's still our opinion and, to be more specific, it's an opinion of fact. By contrast, in the United States, England, and other countries whose legal systems descend from the English common law, a court ruling (or, more precisely, a holding, a statement of law accorded precedential, stare decisis effect) is not merely "just another point of view" in the way that my view of Paris would be.
Now, a word about Wikipedia's rule on Neutral Point of View. The article does not say that the tax protesters are right, or that the court rulings are right. It is certainly correct, from a legal standpoint, for me to say here on this talk page that the court rulings are legally correct by definition -- but the article itself does not say that. The mere fact that the reader reaches the conclusion, after reading the article as presented, that the tax protesters are a bunch of delusional losers, that does not mean that the article lacks a neutral point of view. Actually, even adding a statement to the article that under the U.S. legal system the courts are correct by definition would not violate Wikipedia's policy on Neutral Point of View as long as the statement would be properly sourced, etc. Again, it's not Wikipedia taking that position, it's Wikipedia reporting on what reliable, previously published third party sources have said.
This reminds me of another point. Sometimes readers will come to Wikipedia and say in effect: "But wait, this article isn't neutral, because it doesn't give equal weight to all sides; the article makes it appear that the weight of authority is (fill in the blank -- e.g., the weight of authority is for the court rulings and against the tax protesters, for example)." Well, as odd as it may sound at first, Neutral Point of View in Wikipedia does not mean giving equal weight to all sides. In fact, straining to give equal weight to all sides could well be a violation of neutral point of view.
As I have said many times, U.S. tax protester arguments -- and there are probably hundreds of these crazy, wacky arguments floating around the internet -- are the legal equivalent of the argument, in a science article on The Moon, that The Moon is made of green cheese. No reputable scientist will take the position that The Moon is made of green cheese. In Wikipedia, in an article on The Moon, there is no requirement that Wikipedia editors carefully give "equal weight" to the Green Cheese Argument.
The same is true of tax protester arguments in the legal arena. Giving equal weight to these arguments would tend to mislead the average reader about the standing of tax protester arguments in U.S. law itself. Try to think of a situation where not one single tax protester argument has ever been upheld in any U.S. federal court ever, in the entire history of the United States. That is precisely the situation we have today (as of November 2008). Despite all the garbage on the internet, there is literally not one single recorded case of any court ever upholding one of these arguments. No exceptions. None. Not even one. This is a remarkable record. Tax protester arguments are the equivalent of Green Cheese arguments. Famspear (talk) 03:40, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
"Ultimately, when determining if a tax is valid, or a theory is frivolous or not,..." That is the biggest issue I see. We are not supposed to determine this here. We are trying to present what specific groups think, talk and act about it.
"The same is true of tax protester arguments in the legal arena. Giving equal weight to these arguments would tend to mislead the average reader about the standing of tax protester arguments in U.S. law itself". I agree in general. It should be clearly stated that all the tax trials ended with clear support of the income tax. However, the style is horrible. I stumbled on this page after seeing the America: Freedom to Fascism movie, which I considered highly manipulative and biased so I wanted some neutral reading : ). Well, after reading this article I believe I know what is going on, but can not help but feel I still have not read something neutral (other way around this time). Tax protesters point of view (which I personally do not believe holds any water) is well, not well stated.
"As I have said many times, U.S. tax protester arguments -- and there are probably hundreds of these crazy, wacky arguments floating around the internet -- are the legal equivalent of the argument, in a science article on The Moon, that The Moon is made of green cheese. No reputable scientist will take the position that The Moon is made of green cheese." I find this completely irrelevant. Nobody is forcing an reputable scientist to believe the moon to be made of green cheese (or a knowledgeable lawyer to believe income tax is optional). However if there will be a notable community about claiming we heave a green cheese moon, their point of view should be stated in an article, without physics discrediting every single point they make. Criticism should be put in a separate section(s). For example, I am a natural scientist. I could do the same thing as done here to every page about any religion's miracles. My argument: we need to protect people from drowning while trying to walk on water and stuff.
Apart from that, I disagree about this theme to be as silly as the green moon. Constitution has changed and the spirit of the sixteenth amendment is in great contrast with previous taxation. If the protesters would change their stance from we do not need to pay taxes into we should not need to pay the taxes they would be fully credible. Still as is, their points should be stated without the constant we know better lawyer attitude. (as religion pages are left without we know better science attitude) Smalcat (talk) 11:29, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Dear Smalcat: In the legal world (which is what we are talking about), tax protester arguments are indeed very analogous to a "Moon is made of Green Cheese Argument." Again, the article does not state that the protesters are wrong and the government is right. What the article does is to state what the Protester Argument is, and then states what the Court Ruling is/are. I don't detect a "we know better lawyer attitude" in the article.

If I am understanding you correctly, I respectfully disagree about what I assume is the idea that the tax protesters' point of view should be stated in the "tax protester" article, without discrediting every single point they make.

First, the only thing the article is doing is showing both sides. If the tax protesters' view is "discredited," it is not because the article says the protesters are wrong; it's because most normal people assume (correctly, by the way) that when literally every single court decision for over 200 years goes against the protesters, then the protesters are legally incorrect. That's the reader's call to make.

Second, to set up the tax protester article without showing both sides in that article itself (even in a misguided effort to try to be "fair," or to give "equal weight" to all sides) is called "POV forking," and it is a violation of Wikipedia rules. Again, Neutral Point of View does not mean giving equal weight to both sides, and it does not mean setting up a separate article on a lunatic fringe topic and deliberately omitting one side of the debate in that same article. Yours, Famspear (talk) 15:50, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

For more information POV forking, see WP:POVFORK. Yours, Famspear (talk) 16:02, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Dear Smalcat: Oh, and to put this in greater perspective, the history of this and other articles is that originally, there was just one "tax protester" article. Persons pushing tax protester arguments were posting in that article, and in various articles on "income tax" or "income tax in the United States" or whatever. This was about three years ago. It got so bad that a consensus developed in Wikipedia that information on tax protester should be kept in the tax protester article. Again, if the article were not to show both sides (i.e., if the article were not to show that all the court decisions go against the tax protesters), a person reading the tax protester article without reading the other tax articles in Wikipedia could be misled as to the nature of the "debate" (such as it is) and the nature of the weight of the authorities -- which is all going one way (against the tax protesters). The tendency to want to be even-handed and fair to the tax protesters is well-intentioned, but misguided. The rule prohibiting POV forking is a good one in my opinion. As another editor put it, you won't get in trouble for believing or even acting on the theory that The Moon is made of Green Cheese. Many people get in serious trouble all the time for believing and acting on tax protester theories. We are essentially talking about criminal activity here. Not only that, but Congress has enacted a law that allows the IRS to impose a $5,000 penalty on anyone who even raises these arguments on a tax return. People are also fined large sums just for raising these kinds of articles in a court of law. I was just reading a case last night where someone received a $20,000 fine for this very thing. It's fairly common.

Aside from the point that we should not be violating our own Wikipedia rules, Wikipedia editors should not be putting Wikipedia in the position of misleading readers about what tax protester arguments are all about. Tax protester arguments are not part of "patriotic" activities (as the protesters often claim). These are scams, these are frauds, and they involve criminal penalties. The lives of innocent family members are also ruined by these activities as well. This is not just an academic or theoretical problem. Yours, Famspear (talk) 16:19, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I think I was misunderstood. What I proposed was to keep the article as is with all the points pro and contra as are, only move the arguments pro into one section and arguments contra into another.

I further believe you are emotionally attached to the whole thing, I will guess you come from USA and are perhaps even in the lawyer business so you should notice you are less likely to be impartial than me a non US citizen, not paying this taxes and frankly only mildly interested in the whole affair. I am interested in keeping wikipedia impartial though. So I would propose an exercise to anyone willing. Pick a country with a dictatorship, corrupt courts, and then read this article as if it was about tax protesters in that country. Take into account most of the pro arguments are made by outlawed insurgents and most of the contra by the people working for the corrupt courts. Than judge if you will if this is an impartial article. I am not claiming US is such a country in fact I believe it is not; however, some tax protesters on the other hand do claim such things.

One last thing. I detest the subtle discredit given to me by salutations like: "Dear Smalcat: Oh,..". I would politely ask you to go without.

Smalcat (talk) 12:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

The use of the salutation "Dear Smalcat" is a "subtle discredit"? In the United States, the use of the term "dear" in a salutation is standard. For example, please see other posts on this talk page. Certainly, no "discredit" is intended where an American uses this salutation. Even in formal business letters, this is standard in the United States.
The bizarre argument that because I "come from USA," or because I may be in the "lawyer business", I am therefore "emotionally attached to the whole thing" (and, presumably, therefore less likely to be "impartial" than someone who is a "non US citizen"), is pretty close to a personal attack, which violates Wikipedia rules. Please restrict comments to the merits of the material itself, not to fellow editors.
I respectfully disagree with the idea of moving the pro arguments into one section and the contra arguments into another. If anything, that would make the material more difficult to understand, in my view. Yours, Famspear (talk) 15:38, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree that this article would not be served well by splitting the content into pro/con sections. See WP:STRUCTURE, WP:CSECTION, and WP:PACL. Morphh (talk) 16:30, 03 December 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. From a legal standpoint, the response of the courts has indeed been that tax protester arguments of the type outlined in this article are equivalent to the "moon is made of green cheese" science arguments. Setting up a "pro" section would be like having a section explaining why we should believe the moon to be made of green cheese, it gives the argument undue weight. Taxes, like corporations and money itself, are entirely a legal construct. Our courts have been given the task of defining the parameters of this construct, so the decisions of courts are "reality" in this realm as much as the findings of science are reality in the realm of astronomy. bd2412 T 06:18, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The simple point remains: This article should describe a group of people that share a common interest (ie protest something). Right now it is about showing they are wrong. Not good. Smalcat (talk) 22:52, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Smalcat, I respectfully disagree. Nowhere does Wikipedia state that "they are wrong." The reason you are getting that impression is that, as the article correctly notes, every single tax protester argument has been rejected by the courts. The courts have ruled that the tax protesters are wrong. Again, I think your reaction to the article is simply a normal reaction to the fact that the article does not give equal weight to all sides. Again, I think this has been covered before; Neutral Point of View does not mean giving equal weight to all sides. Yours, Famspear (talk) 20:33, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Talk:Tax protester/Request for comment[edit]

A request for comment has been opened on the general topic of tax protester theories, and whether the articles that address them are NPOV. bd2412 T 18:06, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering about that myself. There are already comments in the main article. Many of the issues cited have "answers" that say things like, "This case did not deal with taxes," as if, unless it's tax law, it isn't law at all... or as if that's sufficient reason for the courts to strike down those arguments in tax cases. The fact that there has yet to be a case won in court is sufficient answer. The article is about "Tax Protester Constitutional Arguments," so it seems to me that the only thing that replies can hope to accomplish is to argument. Shouldn't the Tax Protester Constitutional Arguments be all that's in this entry? Move the snappy comebacks to Discussion and let the reader make up her own mind. If not, it should probably be retitled, "Tax Protester Constitutional Arguments and Wikipedia Editorial answers." TravellerDMT-07 (talk) 23:30, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

  • The point is, in fact, that if it isn't tax law, it isn't tax law at all. The United States income tax is set forth in its own specific collection of federal statutes. A court case that examines a state statute can have no relevance to the federal income tax, and a court case that examines another federal area of law can have no relevance to the federal income tax. Thus, when an opponent of the federal income tax raises an argument based on what a court said in a decision about a state statute, or a non-tax federal statute, the fact that said decision has been cited by the person opposing the tax is itself a demonstration that said person lacks both a relevant basis for doubting the legality of the income tax, and lacks an understanding of the law. bd2412 T 00:09, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Dear TravellerDMT-07: This has already been pretty well discussed in various talk pages. Move the snappy comebacks to the discussion page? Absolutely not. The answer is no, under Wikipedia's rules you don't show just one side in the article itself. Tax protester arguments are extreme fringe positions to put it mildly. Fringe positions generally do not even rate a Wikipedia article unless those fringe positions are notable. In the case of tax protester arguments, the fringe positions are notable -- in part because so much time is wasted in the judicial system with these nonsensical arguments that the Congress and the courts have instituted specific penalties for even raising the arguments on tax returns or in court.
To present the material in the way you are describing would, ironically, violate the Wikipedia policy on neutral point of view by straining to present fringe points of view without also showing, in the article, how the legal system treats them. Imagine an article on the composition of The Moon as being made of green cheese. To omit clear citations to scientists who assert that The Moon is actually made of moon dust and rocks, etc., etc., would be to violate the maxim of Neutral Point of View by giving what is called undue weight to a fringe, minority position. Tax protester arguments, in the legal world, are the equivalent of arguing that The Moon is made of green cheese. We're talking about literally thousands of court decisions, and not even one tax protester argument has ever been upheld. Not even once.
The "answers" are not "Wikipedia editorial answers." They are the answers provided by court rulings. A statement that "no court has ever upheld this argument" or "this case was not a tax case" is not a Wikipedia editorial answer, any more than any other statement in the article. Yours, Famspear (talk) 00:23, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Talk:Tax protester/Request for comment reminder[edit]

Just a reminder that I have proposed to call for a conclusion to this discussion on tax protester rhetoric on February 6. If anyone has anything more to add to the discussion, speak now! bd2412 T 16:57, 3 February 2008 (UTC)


We need to work on the lead. According to WP:LEAD, we should have a three to four paragraph lead (probably four due to the article size). Perhaps someone that is more familar with the article can expand this. The lead should summarize the entire article, so we should have something like a one sentence summary for each section header in the article or a sentence or two that describes multiple arguments.

On a second point, the section "Constitutional status of the 1986 Internal Revenue Code in case law" does not have enough content to justify its own section IMO. So I think we need to either expand it or integrate it into another section. Morphh (talk) 3:09, 05 February 2008 (UTC)

Once we get the lead expanded, I plan to updated it to a A-Class article on our WikiProject assessment. Perhaps a peer-review and then submit for FA status. :-) Morphh (talk) 22:07, 06 February 2008 (UTC)
I started to summarize the article into the lead. I've gotten through sections 1-3, although they may need further summarization and copyedit. With sections 4-10 to still included, we're really going to have to work at concise language. I'm sure we'll also have to work on the prose, as the lead should reflect the best (engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard according to FA). Morphh (talk) 4:20, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Added some more, I think I skipped sections 5 & 9. May need to fold them in. Morphh (talk) 16:32, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
The section "Arguments about constitutionality in criminal cases" is another one that should probably be folded into another section. Not sure the short length justifies a section to itself or at least not a main section. Morphh (talk) 16:41, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Would be nice if we could find a couple more pictures as well. Morphh (talk) 16:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Added a couple. Morphh (talk) 16:59, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I think we should take a look at sections 7,8, and 9 to see if we can fold this as sub-sections of other areas. Morphh (talk) 17:26, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Cleaned this up - looks pretty good now. Morphh (talk) 5:12, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Header naming[edit]

Per WP:HEAD "Avoid restating or directly referring to the topic or to wording on a higher level in the hierarchy (Early life, not His early life)." So considering this... since the article is titled "constitutional arguments", should we drop the "argument" term from the headers. For example, instead of having "Sixteenth Amendment ratification arguments" and "Sixteenth Amendment effectiveness arguments", should we just say "Sixteenth Amendment ratification" and "Sixteenth Amendment effectiveness"? Morphh (talk) 2:48, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Dear Morphh: I would say go for it. PS: I'm not editing much the last few days; I'm a bit tired. I can't figure out whether it's an allergy or a slight cold. Famspear (talk) 02:52, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Done Morphh (talk) 3:33, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Hope you feel better soon.  :-) Look over the changes when you get a chance. I'm not sure if I got all the terminology correct in the lead - particularly things like stating a group of arguments were rejected, found to have no merit, or ruled legally frivolous, etc. They all sound the same to me but I expect there may be technical differences. Morphh (talk) 4:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
No, they're all pretty much the same. Well, quite similar. A good argument can be rejected, when the court weighs all the considerations and finds the opposing argument better still. Tax protester arguments have routinely been rejected not because the opposing argument edged them out, but because they are found to be meritless and frivolous, meaning there is simply no legal basis for ever thinking they could be true. If an argument has been brought many times and rejected each times, to bring it again would similarly be frivolous. bd2412 T 05:46, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Couple other MOS things... we should go with one format of quoting. We're using both cquote and blockquote in this article - we need to choose one. I think I prefer blockquote or using the quote or quotation template (they each produce a different appearance). Also, according to WP:PUNC, "Punctuation marks are placed inside the quotation marks only if the sense of the punctuation is part of the quotation (this system is referred to as logical quotation)." I'm seeing instances where we're not following this by including the punctuation in the quote, when it should probably be outside the quote. Morphh (talk) 3:33, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Change to blockquote for now... Morphh (talk) 4:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I prefer cquotes. They are more attractive, I think. bd2412 T 05:42, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I kinda like them too but I know some that think they're too pretty and not professional looking for an encyclopedia. I'm not sure where the debate stands today. Doesn't matter too much to me - I picked blockquote as there was more of this then cquote, so it was easier at the time but I'm open to whichever. I'll provide some examples below for those that may be unfamiliar with the formats so they can voice their opinion. Morphh (talk) 15:59, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

this is the quote tag or blockquote

this is the quotation tag

Just reading the MOS WP:MOSQUOTE and it states "A long quote (more than four lines, or consisting of more than one paragraph, regardless of number of lines) is formatted as a block quotation, which Wikimedia's software will indent from both margins. Block quotes are not enclosed in quotation marks (especially including decorative ones such as those provided by the {{cquote}} template, used only for "call-outs", which are generally not appropriate in Wikipedia articles). Use a pair of <blockquote>...</blockquote> HTML tags." So I guess we shouldn't use the cquote tag. It doesn't mention the quotation tag. The quote tag fixes a paragraph spacing bug in blockquote and offers a pre-formatted attribution line. Morphh (talk) 16:19, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Is the term "Takings Clause" a proper noun? Should this be capitalized or lower case? Morphh (talk) 16:57, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I've made it lower case for now... Morphh (talk) 17:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
No, it should be capped. Specific clauses of the Constitution are proper nouns. Cheers! bd2412 T 17:49, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Quote sections[edit]

We have a couple sections that are pretty much just a quote by Evans ("Repeal clause" and "Other arguments"). I have no issue with using Evans or using his quote, but we need to expand these sections in our own words to discuss the viewpoints, and then use Evans to either convey the view or expand on it. I don't think we should have his quote be the section. Morphh (talk) 13:13, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree. There are also other sources besides Evans who have made the same points in peer-reviewed law review articles (I'm collecting these). bd2412 T 17:00, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Other arguments and Repeal clause - Do we have some court cases or something that we can put after the quote to close out the section? So and so ruled that this argument is ... Morphh (talk) 14:22, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
On the "repeal clause" point, I see that Daniel Evans mentions on his web site that there is no specific court case on this point. I believe his web site was last updated last summer, and I am pretty sure there have been no new court cases since that time on this subject. Nevertheless, I will do a little research and see if I can find any actual court cases on this.
Haven't been able to spend much time on the tax articles lately. Hats off to editors Morphh and BD2412 for the work now being done! Stay tuned. Yours, Famspear (talk) 15:30, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

OK, I have found one case so far that addresses this point, albeit indirectly. It's the Buchbinder case, which I have added to the article. Famspear (talk) 15:55, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I have also added the quote from the Supreme Court case of Eisner v. Macomber. The taxpayers in the Buchbinder case had quoted from Eisner v. Macomber -- but they had conveniently left out the relevant parts of the quote that negated their own frivolous argument. The Tax Court saw right through that. In Eisner v. Macomber the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that the Sixteenth Amendment either modifies or partially repeals the original provisions of Article I of the Constitution -- with respect to taxes on income. Yours, Famspear (talk) 16:26, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Excellent! This one too please. :-) Morphh (talk) 17:31, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've added some citations to court cases on the "due process" Fifth Amendment arguments. This is fun - like shooting wooden ducks in a carnival! Famspear (talk) 18:26, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

OK, I'll stop adding cases for now. There are many more court decisions rejecting the "due process of law" argument under the Fifth Amendment. And, I'm sorry I haven't had time to devote to this project lately. Thanks again to Morphh and BD2412! Yours, Famspear (talk) 18:40, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Peer-review notice[edit]

I think we're close to submitting this article for Featured Article status. I've set up a peer-review to help get it ready for submission. Morphh (talk) 19:45, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I went through the automated peer-review. While some applied, I thought most didn't or could be argued as appropriate for the topic of this article (such as size and TOC). If everyone would give it a good look over... I plan to submit it for WP:FA. Once it is submitted, you'll want to keep an eye on the discussion. The quicker we respond to address issues, the more likely we'll turn comments or opposes into support. Morphh (talk) 14:56, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks to editor Morphh! Famspear (talk) 15:26, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Tax protester constitutional arguments FAC[edit]

I have nominated Tax protester constitutional arguments as a feature article candidate. If you're interested in responding to comments and addressing any issues that arise, please add the above FAC page to your watchlist. Also consider voting on the article. Thanks Morphh (talk) 17:58, 03 March 2008 (UTC)

Split the page.[edit]

Having done some further research on the Fourteenth Amendment issue, I am now convinced that this article should be split into pages addressing arguments by individual amendments, or by groups. Specifically, we should have Tax protester Sixteenth Amendment arguments, Tax protester First Amendment arguments, and Tax protester Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment arguments, with a remaining "catch-all" for anything else constitutional. bd2412 T 11:55, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I was thinking that if we had to split the article, it seemed most logical to do so under "Taxing labor or income from labor" based on material size and article structure. This section likely has enough content to create an article and could provide a sufficient summary style structure. I'm not sure the content we currently have in the other sections justifies an article for each Amendment. Could you explain further why you think this should be broken up by Amendment? If we did create sub-articles, should we keep (rename) Citizen of the several states and turn it into a more extensive article on the Fourteenth Amendment? Is this something we can do after FA as we build the articles or are you suggesting we do this during the FA process? For an article at this level, I think we go into sufficient detail, so the sections as they stand my provide a sufficient basis for a summary if a more detailed article was created. So I don't expect that this would change the standing or quality of the article for FA. Do you feel otherwise? Morphh (talk) 14:59, 06 March 2008 (UTC)
If we were to keep Citizen of the several states, that name would have to go! I'm thinking of breaking it up by amendment because I think each amendment-based contention could be expanded to sustain an article. I view the material on taxing labor or income from labor as falling under the Sixteenth Amendment (since it's largely about the power to tax "income" granted thereunder). That would still be a pretty bulky piece. There have been plenty of First Amendment tax protester schemes involving bogus churches and ministers, and there are plenty of fifth and fourteenth amendment contentions (which go together in my mind because both cover due process). bd2412 T 15:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Just sort of "eyeballing it" as to length, it seems the last section, the one on the wages argument(s), is pretty long. Maybe that should be the separate article? I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other.
On another point, I am still working on secondary sources for the article, and was about to add a lot of citations to the Christopher S. Jackson article. Should I go ahead with that, or hold back for a while? Famspear (talk) 16:08, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Definitely go ahead with adding citations. If we split the article later, we split it with the citations already there. bd2412 T 18:05, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Note: I will try to add more secondary sourcing this weekend. Famspear (talk) 14:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

In light of the lengthy discussion going on at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Citizen of the several states, I am now absolutely convinced that this page will have to be broken into sub-pages. We should have an article on the citizenship arguments alone! bd2412 T 17:29, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I would disagree with a breakup if we're talking about splitting the article into pieces. This article should be the main article for constitutional tax arguments. If sub-articles are created to expand on those arguments, then each section in this article that has a sub-article would become a summary (and could be summarized further to reduce length if needed). Main tags would be added under the header of the section for a summary style format. Morphh (talk) 18:37, 07 March 2008 (UTC)
That is definitely a workable option. bd2412 T 18:55, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
We really do need to have another look at this. Time to split something. :-) Morphh (talk) 19:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I maintain my earlier contention that it should be split by the article or amendment to which the argument applies. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:15, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and split off Tax protester Sixteenth Amendment arguments. Cheers! bd2412 T 19:37, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Tax_protester_constitutional_arguments#Taxing labor or income from labor[edit]

The court examples listed as an detailed explanation are one sided and violate WP:POV. Typically remarking in the beginning that "The defendant was convicted of tax evasion" and ending with something along the lines "No issues of taxation were presented to or decided by the Court, and the word "tax" is not found in the text of the Court's decision."

The amount of weight in the current court examples could be construed as an attempt to discredit tax protesters (manipulation of the readers understanding by means of diversion). While the validity of the examples is well documented, the amount of examples violates WP:UNDUE, putting substantial emphasis on court conviction and focusing the reader unsuccessful tax protesters. Without any mention, NONE AT ALL, of cases where tax evasion cases filed by the government have been unsuccessful and examples where the tax protester was acquitted. Most notably, a brief summary of numerous acquittals regarding Tom Cryer, mentioned in the section above.--Sparkygravity (talk) 17:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

There are no cases where such an argument has been successful or acquitted. Tom Cryer was acquitted of criminal charges of willful failure to timely file U.S. Federal income tax returns (which is different from this section) - he still has to pay the tax. No tax protester argument was won or "successful" in his case. Morphh (talk) 17:59, 06 March 2008 (UTC)
The cases cited in the text fall into two categories. One set are those which are typical of the cases deciding the issues raised by tax protesters (those are the cases where, universally, the issue was decided against the protester). The second set is the group of cases which tax protesters routinely point to as "proof" that there is no obligation to pay income tax - except that those cases often tend to not be tax cases at all, or are not federal tax cases (state income tax cases have no bearing on federal law), or are quoted completely out of context, and this misquotation is rejected by courts to which it is presented. bd2412 T 18:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

OK, I have begun adding citations to the Jackson article. I also re-arranged the paragraph breaks in the introduction, based on what seems to me to be a grouping by topic. I hope this doesn't make for "too many" introductory paragraphs, or paragraphs that are too short. Also, I'm weak on the rules for Wikipedia citation form, especially for citation to law review articles, so, uh, bear this in mind.

Dear Sparkygravity: Tax protester arguments are, from a legal standpoint, the equivalent of arguing in an article on Scientific Studies of The Moon, that the Moon is made of green cheese. No tax protester argument has ever won in a U.S. federal court of law. Not once. Not ever. Tax protester arguments are beyond being merely extreme fringe positions.

Occasionally, a tax protester will be acquitted in a criminal tax case, just as persons accused of murder are sometimes acquitted. A jury's "not guilty" verdict in a criminal tax case is not a ruling that the tax protester arguments raised in the case were valid. (In fact, in the United States a jury verdict is not a court ruling at all.)

The article does not violate the NPOV rule on undue weight. Indeed, Wikipedia would be affording undue weight to tax protester arguments if Wikipedia were to strain to avoid conceding the disclosure of the batting average of tax protester arguments in court -- which, as of this week was still exactly 0.0000 -- that's federal court cases from the early 1860s to the present year, 2008. If you think about it, this is a remarkable record. Yours, Famspear (talk) 20:31, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Famspear, I put the paragraph structure back due to requirements in WP:LEAD that state the lead should be no more then four paragraphs. I know it is the same text but I think breaking it up like that would be an issue for our FA process. Morphh (talk) 20:35, 06 March 2008 (UTC)
Dear Morphh: Thanks, I thought there might be a problem. As you know, I'm relatively weak on this technical stuff. Famspear (talk) 20:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Follow up to editor Sparkygravity: If we were to add a brief summary of "tax protester acquittals" (which I suppose we could do), then Wikipedia would have to balance that with a mention of "tax protester convictions." -- otherwise, we could be giving a false impression. If we're talking numbers here, the numbers are overwhelming in one direction -- and I'll give you one guess as to which direction. Again, the problem here is that listing "tax protester acquittals in criminal cases" in this article could, in the absence of an explanation, leave the reader with the false impression that a not guilty verdict in a criminal case means that the law under which the defendant was acquitted is invalid. That is certainly the argument that tax protesters tend to make but, as with all tax protester nonsense, it is not only legally incorrect, it's legally frivolous. The U.S. legal system does not work that way.

Indeed, in the Cryer case you mentioned, Mr. Cryer's tax protester arguments were specifically rejected by the court (I think that's even documented in the article on Cryer). As counter-intuitive as it may sound, had the court ruled in favor of Cryer on his tax protester arguments, he could not have been found not guilty by the jury -- for the simple reason that by definition a court ruling in Cryer's favor would have meant dismissal of the case. The jury would have gone home without rendering any verdict.

Perhaps some Wikipedia article expansion is in order on the legal concept of why an acquittal of a tax protester in a criminal tax case is not a "tax protester victory" in the sense in which tax protesters pretend it is -- but I think that point would go more appropriately in Tax protester statutory arguments or Tax protester conspiracy arguments or some place like that. It's not an argument about the "constitutionality" of the tax law.

By contrast, a protester's conviction -- in a criminal tax case where the protester argued about the constitutionality of the federal income tax law -- could go in this article, at least in my opinion.

If we could find an actual federal criminal tax case where a tax protester argued that the federal income tax law was unconstitutional and the judge ruled that the tax protester's argument was correct (so that the case was thrown out on that very basis -- without being decided by the jury), that would definitely be worth mentioning. Such a case would make banner headlines in the U.S. legal community. There is no known record of any such case, ever. Famspear (talk) 21:01, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Tax protester "acquittals" are relevant to the extent that other tax protester's erroneously point to them as "evidence" that the income tax is somehow illegal. However, I believe this contention is covered in the conspiracy theory article. bd2412 T 23:31, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for addressing my criticisms so quickly, I'm assured that my complaint has been noted and leave it to your capable and conscientious talents to improve the section.--Sparkygravity (talk) 00:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Material moved from above, to restore original comments [response to Famspear's comments about fringe positions, etc.]:

You have the liberty to believe that. But, WHY should the VALIDITY of the arguments have anything to do with the PRESENTATION of these arguments? The main tax page itself may well dismiss tax protestors as fools, but does THEIR page about them have to be ONLY about dismissing them as fools, too? It is one thing to MENTION that their ideas have been uniformly rejected by the courts, but quite another to make an article about them SOLELY about that rejection. For instance, Jesus Christ's teachings were dismissed by the Roman authorities. He was tried, convicted, and executed for them. So was Socrates. Surely, you are not SUGGESTING that articles about those two be CONFINED to what the courts thought of them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Dear IP70,231.242.82: The article is not restricted or confined to what "the courts think." The article shows both what the tax protesters say the law is, and what the courts have ruled the law to be. The article shows both sides, and does so without stating that "the protesters are right" or "the courts are right."
Do you believe the main article dismissed tax protesters as fools? It does not. The tax protester articles in Wikipedia state what the tax protesters arguments are, and also state what the courts have ruled (and in some cases what others have said about tax protesters).
I'm not sure, but I think you might be assuming that merely because tax protesters do come off as incompetent boobs or fools, that there is something wrong with the presentation in the article. You would be wrong if you thought that. Tax protesters are indeed incompetent boobs and fools -- but the article presents the material in neutral way.
The reason that you may perceive tax protesters as being portrayed as foolish is that legal authorities have overwhelmingly ruled that tax protester arguments are legally frivolous, and the article accurately reports that. That is legal reality. Not one single tax protester argument has ever been upheld in a U.S. federal court of law. Not one. There is nothing that you and I can do to change that. And it is not the job of Wikipedia to try to change that, or to give equal weight to tax protester arguments alongside the actual law. In fact, giving equal weight to all sides would violate Wikipedia rules. You may want to review the Wikipedia rules on Neutral Point of View. Neutral point of view does not mean giving equal weight to all sides.
Just as an aside, I would note that many, many people have had their lives ruined by the delusion of tax protester arguments. When tax protesters cross the line from merely espousing their delusional nonsense to acting on their beliefs, they move into the criminal arena. You cannot begin to know the devastation and heartache caused by these people unless you have studied them for years, or unless you have been personally affected by them. I have not been personally affected by them (although I have received threats); I have, however, studied them for several years. Yours, Famspear (talk) 02:00, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
PS: I think I should have said "threat" not "threats." If I recall correctly, I have been threatened by a tax protester only once, and that was right here in Wikipedia. The veiled threat was, of course, ineffectual anyway, since he/she did not know who I am. Famspear (talk) 02:19, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Pardon me, my first post to a discussion page reguarding law. I will do my best.--InstallerMan talk) 8, April 2009 (UTC)

This Section seems to be the very crux at which all of the contention originates. Most of the law cases are thrown out, or quashed because of improper use of legal terminology, and the Wiki is supporting that miss interpretation. Most of the legal citations that are used to disprove the claims made by citizens, have phrases like, "the income tax is unconstitutional", or "I'm not obligated to file a return" or "I'm not obligated to pay income tax", are all obfustications that are hiding the real intent of the citizens, which if properly addressed on theses pages, might actually come to some conclusions.

The skill of crafty jurisprudence of the United States Court systems are to be ignored at our freedoms peril. The court routinly looks for ways to accomplish its goals in one frame without affecting huge waves of conflict in others. Therefore, the instructions to quash, the definitions as frivious, etc. Will ALL occur by default, anytime a court sees a citizen use a legal term, carrying legal precident, in a common way, thus creating an easy way to dismiss the suit.

The Above intentions being more accurately translated as: "I'm not obligated to accept the claim that what is reported on my W2 is true or correct, and that while required to file (a tax return) an explanation, I have recourse to forms for rebuttle.", "I'm not obligated to pay tax on my time and labor.", ( Because anything that IS INCOME as defined by the IRC is taxible by definition... see previous paragraph for 'Quash-Me-Now-Landmine' ), "any tax on my time, labor, or what I exchange that time and labor for is by consitutional definition required to be apportioned." ( Article 1, Section 2)( Artical 1 Section 9) of the US Constitution. Since the Supreme Court has ruled in 1985 (citation needed) that the IRC IS IN FACT Constitutional, we must interpret the IRC with ultimate context being that it does not conflict with the Constitution.

"Direct Taxes bear immediately upon persons, upon the possession, and enjoyment of rights" ( USSC Knowlton v Moore, 178 US 41 1900 )

Which when added to this, follows that a tax on your time spend in occupation is a direct tax by definition.

"The right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right." (USSC Butcher's Union v. Crescent City Co. 111 US 746 1883

"Since the right to receive income or earnings is a right belonging to every person, this right cannot be taxed as a priviledge." Jack Cole Co. v Alfred T. MacFarland, 206 Ten. 694 Supreme Court of Tennessee 1960

"An income tax is neither a property tax nor a tax on occupations of common right, but is an excise tax... The legislature may declare as 'priviledged' and tax as such for state revenue, those pursuits not matters of common right, but it has no power to declare as a 'priviledge' and tax for revenue purposes, occupations that are of common right." Simms v Ahrens, 271 SW 720 1925.

It is to be noted that the IRC does NOT attempt to violate this legal understanding of income.

The initial tax legislation (1862) included poorly constructed ( logically confusing definitions as to what was actually being taxed ), its verbage was reinacted in 1894 with minor alterations. The construct remaining the same, and was tested in the courts in 1895. Pollock v Farmers Loan & Turst 157 US 429 and 158, US 601 1895. The court found two seperate and important findings. One, that a tax upon property or income derived from property, already in possession is a undeniably a tax on the property itself and must be apportioned. Second, "That all taxes paid primarily by persons who can shift the burden upon some one else, or who are under no legal compulsion to pay them, are considered indirect [excise] taxes;" ( summarized later ) "..taxation on income was in its nature, an excise, entitled to be enforced as such." - Upon empolyees of the government because of their benifit via federal priviledge as opposed to benifitting from their inherent right of common gainful employement. ( THAT BEING THE DISTINCTION that defined Income prior to the addition of the 16th ammendment. )

Further clarification of that legal term: "income" is given by the Treasury Dept. to the Congressional Record Mar. 27 1943: "The income tax is an excise tax with respect to certain activities and priviledges... the income is NOT the subject of the tax."

And remembering the Articles 1Sec2 & 1Sec9, combined with the much miss-interpreted 16th Ammendment about "Congress shall have the power to lay and collected taxes on incomes [Receipts resulting from the exercise of federal priviledge.] without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Peck v Low USSC 1918 "The 16th Ammendment does not extend the taxing power to new or excepted subjects." Reaffirming the proper interpretation of right-vs-priviledge which is the crux behind what is and is not "income" as legally defined. Stanton v Baltic Mining Co. 240 US 103 1916 "The provisioners of the 16th... conferred no new power of taxation."

Brushaber v Union Pacific 240 Us 1 1916 "the contention that the Amendment treats a tax on income as a direct tax, relieved from apportionment, is wholly without foundation." ; "the ammendment demonstrates that no such purpose was intended, and on the contrary shows that it was drawn with the object of maintaining the limitations of the Consitution" This ruling depending greatly on the case law which already to date, had pre-defined "income" as that which was discretionary gain resulting from the discretionary exercise of a priviledge, instead of the exercise of the right to monetary compensation for labor, which is NOT the 1895 interpretation of "income".

And thus I conclude my first Discussion with the statement that we need to go back through ALL of the taxation-protest pages with a fine tooth comb, and clarify in each case whether the protester was utilizing income in the common webster dictionary manner, (i.e. the Right to trade time for currancy, for which it is not legal to tax directly without apportionment. ) or if he was refferring to the exercise of federal priviledge ( The legal statute's case law interpretation of 'income' which IS consitutionally taxible in any way, without apportionment. )

Further, I would like to ensure that, since this IS the proper place for discussion, that this commentation remain in place, not because it mearly falls under the actual topic of this particular page. ( Which it does. ) Is heavily referenced. (Which is its. ) But that it IS by default discussion, and worth of consideration. Is not frivilous, as it is an earnest attempt to seek knoweldge, and deserves thoughtful rebuttle with equal attention to references. Natrually I am pleased to receive any guidance on how to post better. Or relocation of this material within the discussion page, but I will repost this information to the discussion page if attempted to be removed without comment. Thanks --InstallerMan talk) 8, April 2009 (UTC)


I thought we had addressed all the main issues, but not enough to change the votes I guess. I thought it was closed a little early if the comments were read. The Gimmebot bot likely just looked at the count, which is not really how an FA should go in my view. Like most processes - it is a discussion and if the points are being addressed, it should be given a little more time to gain consensus. I thought the first two opposes whould be changed to support after this weekend (once we added some addtional footnotes - although I think the references section was enough to address the issue). I guess we can reread the comments and prepare for a resubmit after we feel good about it. The three main points seemed to be length, additional references, and the fundamental point of the article. We were addessing the additional referenes, which after Famspear goes through it, I'm sure will be sufficent. We're discussing length above, which we can address by creating some sub-articles with a summary style format. As far as the fundamental point of the article, I'm not sure how to best address Sparkgravity's concerns or if it is even the place in this article. Do we have any sources that state the general purpose of tax protesters is to battle against what they would deem as a miscarriage of justice? Morphh (talk) 15:24, 08 March 2008 (UTC)

I was also surprised that this was suddenly closed. No matter - we'll just keep working on it. I am also thinking about the suggestions by editor Sparkygravity and other editors, and how to address them. Thanks to editors Morphh and BD2412 and all who have worked on this article. Happily, the never-ending work continues! Famspear (talk) 16:17, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Commentary moved from article[edit]

The following commentary inserted anonymously (much of it apparently off topic) has been moved from the article to here:

In the Federalist Papers (No. 64)[1] it states:
Others, though content that treaties should be made in the mode proposed, are adverse to their being the SUPREME laws of the land. They insist, and profess to believe that treaties like acts of assembly, should be repealable at pleasure. This idea seems to be new and peculiar to this country, but new errors, as well as new truths, often appear. These gentleman would do well to reflect that a treaty is only another name for a bargain, and that it would be impossible to find a nation who would make any bargain with us, which should be binding on them ABSOLUTELY, but on us only so long and so far as we may think proper to be bound by it. They who make laws may, whithout doubt, amend or repeal them; and it will not be disputed that they who make treaties may alter or cancel them; but still let us not forget that treaties are made, not by only one of the contracting parties, but by both; and consequently, that as the consent of both was essential to their formation at first, so must it ever afterwards be to alter or cancel them. The proposed Constitution therefore has not in the least extended the obligation of treaties. They are just as binding, and just as far beyond the lawful reach of legislative acts now, as they will be at any future period, or under any form of government.

And this commentary as well:

The first sentence of this section is clear in establishing how a bill related to raising revenue must originate, and clarifying that the Senate can propose changes or pass (concur) as they would on all other bills. What has never been put before a court is the fact that the 16th Amendment significantly raises revenue, and it originated in the Senate. (Senate Joint Resolution)
All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
The 16th Amendment had never been approved by signature or otherwise. This consideration could also be used to dispute every amendment from the 20th Century.
Keep in mind there are only 2 ways to change a constitution, you can amend or repeal. Amend is to add to or clarify. Repeal is to remove or strike out. There is a misconception that the states alone can grant additional powers or revoke explicitly withheld powers, but such powers exist in the people alone, unless otherwise granted through constitution to the states to grant such powers. The only way to change the principles of the Constitution is through a convention of each state. This argument has not yet been brought before the court.

Please discuss below, if needed. Famspear (talk) 11:15, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Oddly, the material states that the Sixteenth Amendment "raises revenue" and then goes on to discuss the constitutional rules for enactment of statutes that raise revenue. First, that is incorrect. The Sixteenth Amendment does not "raise revenue." The Amendment does not impose a single penny of tax on anyone. Second. the material that follows relates to the method of enacting a statute. The Sixteenth Amendment is not a statute. It is a constitutional amendment. The method for proposing and ratifying such amendments is found in a completely different place in the constitution. The methods described in the verbiage shown above do not even apply to constitutional amendments. Third, the material is simply off topic.

Now, look at this verbiage:

Keep in mind there are only 2 ways to change a constitution, you can amend or repeal. Amend is to add to or clarify. Repeal is to remove or strike out. There is a misconception that the states alone can grant additional powers or revoke explicitly withheld powers, but such powers exist in the people alone, unless otherwise granted through constitution to the states to grant such powers.

The above verbiage is not legally precise, but in any case it's unclear what it has to do with the article.

Now, look at this:

The only way to change the principles of the Constitution is through a convention of each state.

That is incorrect. There are two methods for amending the Constitution. One is through the state legislatures, and the other is through constitutional conventions. Yours, Famspear (talk) 12:37, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Voluntary compliance[edit]

Id like to see a section in the article that deals with how the tax code specifies voluntary compliance in filing tax returns, as my understanding is that thats one of these tax protestors claims.. that the tax is actually voluntary. and also a bit more on a progressive tax being unfair and descriminatory and therefore unlawful. anyone have a link to these supreme court decisions? - (talk) 09:49, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, that's already covered in the article Tax protester statutory arguments. (And there is nothing in the Internal Revenue Code that specifies voluntary compliance in filing tax returns.) Yours, Famspear (talk) 14:22, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
PS: I'm referring to the "voluntary" arguments. Those are already covered in Tax protester statutory arguments.
The "progressive" argument is already covered in this article, with citations to the Supreme Court decisions. I think you can find the decisions at and other web sites, but if there's no link in this article, I'll try to add one. Famspear (talk) 14:26, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, on the Supreme Court decisions on the "progressive tax" argument, I added a link to You may have to register with findlaw to view the text of the decisions, but I think it may be a free registration. The link is found in the footnote, along with the citation. Famspear (talk) 14:32, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

1St Amendment Issues Post RFRA[edit]

Your article cites Reynolds V US as supportive of the idea "that a religious belief, however strongly held, does not exempt the believer from adhering to general laws." I am curious as to weather these arguments have been attempted under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which does, in fact, hold that "Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."

I have done some substantial research, and cannot find any major case rulings in RE this issue - and it seems that there should be - am I looking in the wrong places, and if so, point me to the sources. Please do not refer me to the 'Peace Tax Act' or the related court decisions that led to it's introduction - the legislation is inherently flawed (refer to the Florida Lottery Education Fund to better understand why). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Good question. I know of at least one court decision where someone argued this. First, for those who don't know, we're talking about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Public Law No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (Nov. 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. sections 2000bb through 2000bb-4.
In the case of Adams v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court rejected the argument of Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams, who was a devout Quaker. She tried to argue that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she was exempt from federal income taxes. The U.S. Tax Court rejected her argument and ruled that she was not exempt. The Court noted that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, a "compelling interest test" is used. The Court ruled that income taxation is a "compelling interest." The Court stated: ...."while petitioner's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by payment of taxes that fund military expenditures, the Supreme Court has established that uniform, mandatory participation in the Federal income tax system, irrespective of religious belief, is a compelling governmental interest." See Adams v. Commissioner, 110 T.C. 137 (1998), at [3] (italics added by me for emphasis).
See also the U.S. Tax Court decision in Miller v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 511 (2000). The taxpayers objected to the use of social security numbers, arguing that such numbers related to the "mark of the beast" from the Bible. In its decision, the Court discussed the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but ruled against the taxpayers.
Yours, Famspear (talk) 22:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I have updated the article on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to include the references to the Adams and Miller cases. Famspear (talk) 22:23, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Unsourced nonsense removed[edit]

The following unsource nonsense was removed from the article:

Probably the greatest current argument against the government enforcing the 16th amendment is that, (as Bill Benson proved in his book, "The Law That Never Was,") the states needed to make up the majority of the votes to pass the bill into law, never came into being and never voted to ratify the amendment. The act to pass the 16th was the last act of Secretary of State Knox in 1913 while in office. Out of the 48 states that then existed, 12 had already declared a no vote would be coming forth from their state legislators. This meant that Knox had to come up with 36 yes votes to pass the 16th Amendment. As Benson proved in his research, public records show the fact that many states had their votes counted before their respective legislatures ever met. Therefore without the needed votes, Secretary of State Knox had no legal right to declare that this amendment was passed into law. His connection to the then newly formed "Federal Reserve" has long been suspect and it has been mentioned that an audit of Knox' finances should be looked at to see if he received any type of monetary "motivation" to pass this amendment that the feds were claiming was to collect the interest off of the national debt. The Federal Reserve had recently been formed by a core of bankers who met in secret on a resort island off the Georgia coast. They met in hunting gear and carried hunting rifles as to not allow the public to be informed that this meeting was taking place or that this group was now forming and referring to itself as "Federal" even though it had no part of any government agency and was and is not a part of the United States Government. Furthermore the wording of the amendment in regards to ...'without apportionment' is a direct contradiction of the United States Constitution which had stated for over a hundred years that no tax will be laid upon the people without apportionment.

The Bill Benson Sixteenth Amendment non-ratification argument is a fraud, and has been ruled to be so in federal court. It has lost every single time in court. Benson even tried to use his own argument in his own federal criminal tax trial -- and he was convicted. This is already covered in the applicable Wikipedia articles.

The argument that the Federal Reserve had been "recently formed" at the time the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified is also blatant nonsense. The Amendment was ratified in February of 1913. The Federal Reserve System was not even created until December of 1913.

And the argument that the Amendment is a "direct contradiction" of the Constitution is tantamount to a tax protester argument that somehow the federal income tax is unconstitutional. And there is no rule of constitutional law that says that an amendment to the constitution somehow cannot "directly contradict" the original provisions of the constitution. To argue otherwise would be to show a basic misunderstanding of how constitutional amendments work. Famspear (talk) 01:42, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

That the argument has lost in court does nothing to make it "fraud". It should surprise no one but the most naive state sycophant that a branch of the Federal Government would find an act of that government Constitutional. The assumption of impartiality is misplaced in this case. Nuwriter (talk) 15:16, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Ahh, such a wonderful view that manages to totally ignore reality and past history. Ravensfire (talk) 15:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

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  1. ^ John Jay, Paper No. 64, retrieved on 27 June 2008