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Quatloos! > Tax Scams > Tax Protestors > Anti-IRS Theories

Anti-IRS Theories
a/k/a Tax Protestor Junk


We preface this by stating that the purpose of this page is not to defend the IRS (it must defend itself). Rather, the purpose of this page is to make clear to you the non-effectiveness of certain theories and methods which are based on recent public criticism of the IRS.

Various persons and groups are actively marketing and selling a variety of information, legal products, and financial products based on interpretations of the U.S. Constitution as it relates to the Internal Revenue Code, and indeed the Internal Revenue Service itself.

The arguments advanced by these groups include:

  • False arguments that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution (authorizing the income tax) was not properly ratified

  • False arguments that the Internal Revenue Code was not properly enacted by Congress

  • False arguments that the Internal Revenue Service was not properly constituted by either Congress or the Department of the Treasury (and is therefore operating as an "illegal" entity)

  • False arguments that "income" cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be owed

  • False arguments that only foreigners and citizens of the United States (falsely limited to citizens of the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.) are liable to pay income tax, and state citizens are not liable for income tax -- i.e., false arguments that the payment of income tax is really "voluntary" (you'd have to be a real sucker to believe this one).

  • False arguments about a number of like subjects regarding income tax, all of which erroneously conclude that nobody is liable to pay income tax

These arguments are all false, and demonstrably so. Anyone who advocates them is a liar, and anyone who believes them is either a dullard, a sucker, or a fool.

Don't believe us? Skeptical of us? Well, before your break ends at the tire shop, take a close look at the following:

Daniel B. Evans' The Tax Protestor FAQ dan /tpfaq.html

- and -

Joseph G. Adams' Tax Protestor Hall of Fame -- debunked/

Why These Arguments Can’t Help You

We’re going to show you here why these arguments can’t help you -- and most likely will do you harm -- whether or not they are true. That is, we’re going to suppose for the sake of argument that these (demonstrably false) theories are true: In other words, we’re going to pretend that the Internal Revenue Code has no effect, and that all actions undertaken pursuant to it are illegal.

The problem is that NO COURT HAS HELD OR WILL HOLD THAT THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE IS INVALID OR THAT THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE LACKS POWER TO LEVY OR COLLECT INCOME TAXES.  See, e.g., Joseph Adam's The Tax Protestor Hall of Fame. Literally hundreds of folks have tried these arguments over the last several years. ALL of these folks have lost, and many of these folks have been sanctioned or fined for advocating a "frivolous" theory to the court.

So, let’s assume that you buy some of this hokey material, and you either don’t declare your income to the IRS, under whatever reason, or else you hide your money in a "Pure Trust" or other fictional legal unicorn. The IRS then comes and assesses taxes and stiff fines on you and garnishes your wages and seizes all your assets to pay for the assessments and fines. You then go into court and assert whatever screwy theory you’ve been sold as your defense against the IRS. Now, you might be (in your own mind) 100% correct. The problem is that there is a 100% chance that the court will not agree with you, and you will lose everything you have.

So, the upshot is: Even if you believe this anti-IRS crap, don’t use these theories for planning because they have a 100% chance of failure. These theories are not going to protect your assets, period, and anyone who tells you differently is a liar. You are going to get fined and sanctioned, and these fines and sanctions most likely will not be dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding, so they will follow you for your entire life until paid.

Zero Success Rate

These various constitutional and anti-IRS theories have had a ZERO success rate. This is evidenced by the following:

Taxes Saved By Type Dollars Saved Success Rate
Income Taxes Saved $0 0%
Capital Gains Taxes Saved $0 0%
Estate & Probate Taxes Saved $0 0%

These theories have an equally non-impressive track record for thwarting the IRS:

Action of the IRS # Actions Prevented Success Rate
IRS Seizure of Property 0 0%
IRS Sales of Property 0 0%
IRS Garnishment on Wages 0 0%
Criminal Prosecution for Tax Evasion 0 0%
Is this really something you want to use for tax planning or to hide your assets behind? If so, then you need to get a refund on that lobotomy. The fact is that these theories have not been successful in even a single case and there is no reason to believe that they will ever be successful.

U.S. v. Long -- The Dead Sea Scroll of Tax Protestors

Tax protestors will ALWAYS mention the case of U.S. v. Lloyd Long as the "victory" which "proves" that income taxes don't have to be paid. The truth:

  • First -- Long lost his civil case and was still liable for his taxes. The case the protestors stupidly refer to is Long's criminal case for tax evasion, which he won on, essentially, the dubious theory that he was too dumb to understand that he had to pay taxes. But Long -- like so many others -- completely failed to prove that he wasn't liable for his taxes.

  • Second -- In every case since Long the tax protestors have lost. They have had NO victories since then, and can't point to any, (not that Long can really even be characterized as a victory since he lost his battle to prove he wasn't liable for taxes). So if the Long case is precedent for anything, which is doubtful, it sure isn't very good precedent because NO SUBSEQUENT COURT HAS RELIED ON THE LONG CASE FOR THE ABSURD PROPOSITION THAT THERE IS NO LIABILITY FOR TAXES.

NOTE: By like token, we often get hate e-mail from tax protestors who send us cases from around the turn of the century (i.e., before the 16th Amendment authorized the income tax) or from the 1930s and 1940s (i.e., before the modern IRS code). Apparently, they can't figure out that LAWS CHANGE. And they NEVER send us cases from this decade -- the reason being that every case from this decade (and the last, for that matter) has been a loser for tax protestors.

So, if someone mentions "U.S. v. Long" to you as justification why you should not pay your tax -- RUN!!! If Long is their basis, then they have no basis, period the end.

Arguments that "Others Aren't Paying Taxes, Either"

Tax protestor materials have wild quotes that there are "40 million" nonfilers, and correctly attribute this figures to the IRS. What they don't tell you is that most of the nonfilers eventually file, or are defunct corporations and trusts which have a tax ID number and haven't reported for years, dead persons who haven't been taken off the rolls, etc.  After you sift through the figures you will see that the actual number of individual nonfilers is very low, believed to be less than 10,000 per year, and not so large a number that the IRS can't eventually chase them all. And many of these are persons in very low wage jobs -- i.e., immigrant farm workers, etc. -- whom the IRS often determines isn't worth their time to chase.

Somewhat humorously, in several cases where the IRS has gone after promoters of "Don't File" schemes, it was determined that the promoter -- while advocating not filing returns -- had been filing their returns all along. This really isn't surprising, since most of the promoters will secretly confide that they really don't believe these theories either, but it makes them good money.

Don’t Be A Sucker

As shown above, these wacky theories can not and will not give you legitimate tax savings or otherwise protect your assets from the IRS. So why buy them? The fact is that the sale of these materials is nothing more-or-less than a scam, just like those books which tell people how to guess which numbers will next be picked at the lottery (and about as accurate). If you buy these materials, you are a sucker and you've been already scammed. Don't now make the mistake of following through on the advice, as about as likely as not you're likely to end up in prison on charges of tax evasion.

Links to Proof of Falsity of Theories

We are not in the business of disputing these stupid Constitutional theories -- which isn't hard to do, but instead we leave that to others. The following several (there are more) well-researched non-government private websites demonstrate the falsity of these wacky anti-IRS theories and you should refer to them:

Our Tax Protestor Theories De-Bunked Page

Daniel B. Evans' The Tax Protestor FAQ -- dan/ tpfaq.html

Falgoust's Tax Protestor Myths -- NapaValley/ 3578 /taxmyth.html

Joseph G. Adams' Tax Protestor Hall of Fame -- debunked/

Bob Sommers' The Tax Protestor Movement: Proof that P.T. Barnum was Right -- hot/ feb96.html

Bob Sommers' The Tax Protestor Movement: Still Batting Zero -- hot/ June98.html

Don’t Contact Us

For some reason, people feel compelled to call us or send us e-mail to argue about the legitimacy of these theories. Well don’t, because we just don’t care. As shown above, IT DOESN’T MATTER whether you are right or wrong because even if you are right (you're not) these theories aren’t going to help you anyhow, since no court will recognize these theories and they will not stop the IRS from levying taxes, fines, and sanctions, or from seizing your property. The only thing which matters to us is whether or not stuff works, and these theories have proven "in spades" that they don't.

Visit Our Tax Protestor Theories De-Bunked Page

Visit the Quatloos! Cyber-Museum of Scams & Frauds
Tax Protestor Gallery

Know of other court opinions where these wacko theories were pitched? Send them to us by our online form -- we always enjoy a good laugh!

Check out some of the more Infamous Tax Protestors in our Quatloser Gallery

Have a question for Quatloos?


Tax Protestors, Pure Trusts, and Other Stupid De-Tax Schemes & Scams
Have a stupid theory why you shouldn't have to pay taxes? 861? Non-Filer? Sovereign Citizen? Believe that the federal courts are actually admiralty courts or that the only real citizens of the USA live in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia, then this forum is for you.

Tax Practice & Policy and Tax Shelters   Practical and Practice issues for Professionals who practice in the area of taxation. Moral, social and economic issues relating to taxes, including international issues, the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, state tax issues, etc.

The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments


The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The filing of a tax return is voluntary.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Payment of tax is voluntary.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The IRS must prepare federal tax returns for a person who fails to file.


The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Wages, tips, and other compensation received for personal services are not income.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Only foreign-source income is taxable.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Federal Reserve Notes are not income.


The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Taxpayer is not a "citizen" of the United States, thus not subject to the federal income tax laws.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The "United States" consists only of the District of Columbia, federal territories, and federal enclaves.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Taxpayer is not a "person" as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, thus is not subject to the federal income tax laws.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The only "employees" subject to federal income tax are employees of the federal government.


The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Federal income taxes constitute a "taking" of property without due process of law, violating the Fifth Amendment.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Taxpayers do not have to file returns or provide financial information because of the protection against self-incrimination found in the Fifth Amendment.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Compelled compliance with the federal income tax laws is a form of servitude in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was not properly ratified, thus the federal income tax laws are unconstitutional.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The Sixteenth Amendment does not authorize a direct non-apportioned federal income tax on United States citizens.


The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: The Internal Revenue Service is not an agency of the United States.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Taxpayers are not required to file a federal income tax return, because the instructions and regulations associated with the Form 1040 do not display an OMB control number as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: African Americans can claim a special tax credit as reparations for slavery and other oppressive treatment.

The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: Taxpayers are entitled to a refund of the Social Security taxes paid over their lifetime.


The Tax Scam Artist's Lie: An "untaxing" package or trust provides a way of legally and permanently avoiding the obligation to file federal income tax returns and pay federal income taxes.



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Tax Protestor Theories De-Bunked -- We blow up the theories asserted by tax scam artists about why their materials will avoid income taxes.

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