Many people would love to pull a fast one on the Internal Revenue Service and get out of paying taxes. A lot of people come up with tax evasion schemes, but they practically never work, so it’s best to just deal with it and pay up.
Tax dodge city
Income taxes are not popular. Occasionally, people try to give the Internal Revenue Service the slip with a tax evasion scheme. According to CNN, some people have tried to use the First Amendment’s religious exemption to circumvent filing income tax returns or paying taxes. One man claimed that since military spending violated his religious beliefs, he was exempt from paying taxes. He was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay his back taxes and, according to the IRS’ publication on Frivolous Arguments, federal courts have repeatedly ruled against any religious exemption from paying income taxes.
Others have argued that because their Social Security numbers contain the three digits 666, it is the “mark of the beast” and filing a return would thus be a violation of the religious convictions. The devil was in the details, and those cases have been tossed as well. The individuals in question likely paid a considerable “human number” of dollars in fines.
Some try to argue that they aren’t United States citizens and therefore don’t have to pay income taxes. For instance, according to a press release on the Department of Justice website, Lynn Early claimed that he wasn’t an American citizen and that the IRS would be subject to a $500,000 fine if they used his name in print because it was trademarked. In 2006, he was sentenced to 27 months in jail in 2006 and ordered to pay back $84,174.
In 2008, Dr. Louis Genard, a dentist, argued that he was a citizen of the “Republic of Lousiana” and an “Ambassador and Citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven under its King Jesus the Christ,” and as such, enjoyed diplomatic immunity, according to NOLA.com, which is why he didn’t file returns or pay any taxes for 12 years. Genard was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was ordered to pay $155,683 in back taxes and prosecution costs.
Just put up with it
The Frivolous Arguments publication on the Internal Revenue Service website lists nearly every bullet point in the tax protester’s handbook as well as the consequences of trying to take on the tax man. Tax laws in the United States may be labyrinthine, but trying to find a way around them is not likely to work out in your favor.