You Can’t Fight City Hall

Jeff Michael brings up something I always find bizarre and ends up referencing a couple of my past posts in the process.

The tax protester movement amuses me to no end, especially the sort that claims that the tax law in reality does not require the payment of some sorts of taxes, or withholding, or what have you and that the IRS is just not following its own rules.

It’s the most bizarrely circular sort of thing, don’t you think? Here we have a government that could lock you up for more than 100 years if you violated enough tax laws, and regularly does lock up people for non-compliance with the tax code, which, morally, is the equivalent of being locked in jail for running away from a mugger.

Given that reality, does anyone really believe that the IRS really cares what the finer points of the tax code might be? If someone could actually get a judge to go their way, how long do you think the code would remain "ambiguous?"

Look, don’t pay any of these hucksters any money, because that’s all it is. They want you to think there’s some magic silver bullet that gets you out of paying taxes short of operating in the "underground economy" or risking going to jail. There isn’t. If you want to take those risks, it’s fine with me, but at least know what you’re getting yourself into. If you have loved ones for whom you’re responsible, you’d better think really hard.

It’s no game, and what you do now can set your course for many years to come. If you and your wife & kids were in a hostage situation confronted with evil gunmen who just might take pleasure in harming you and your family, what you are morally entitled to do and what you ought to do, given myriad possibilities and consequences, is not something to take lightly.

Well, the IRS is a pack of evil gunmen who just might take pleasure in harming you and your family. And, you are hostage.

I’ve been through six years of IRS audit–recently–three years personal and three corporate. Lasted 9 months. No adjustments. Why? Because I understand very clearly who I’m dealing with. You don’t mess around with low-self-esteem thieves with guns, jails, and torture chambers unless you know you can win.

I hold no illusions–either in who I’m dealing with or what they’re capable of doing to me, my wife, my family, my employees and my company.


  1. Jeff Michael on May 11, 2006 at 23:15

    Great post; I'm glad to have had some part in inspiring it.

    On a sort-of related note, I've been criticized for not teaching people how to "beat" the credit bureaus (through fraud and deception) in my credit book. Ultimately, I refused to write a manual for committing fraud; I have plenty of competitors who will gladly teach you how to cheat your way out of bad credit. Even though I despise some creditors every bit as much as you (and I) despise the IRS, I try to encourage people to repair their credit honestly. Advising my readers to get themselves arrested or sued seems like bad business.

  2. Richard Nikoley on May 12, 2006 at 05:07

    I don't know, John. That's the point. Taxes are ultimately collected at the point of a gun and whatever codes are in force are just pretext for that.

  3. Kyle Bennett on May 12, 2006 at 07:22

    Jill, you really didn't understand any of what you read, did you?

    And the 'fat cats', at least most the ones who didn't get there via so-called 'public service', have already paid their share. That's how they got to be fat cats. It's the bums begging for change at the stoplights and the people lined up at the welfare office that have yet to pay their share.

  4. jill on May 12, 2006 at 06:48

    Really good points. I hate the IRS. No one understands them and it sets us all up for failure. At this point doing away with it and having a national sales tax would be easier to swallow. Sure things would cost more, but even the "fat cats" would have to pay their share.

  5. John T. Kennedy on May 11, 2006 at 23:59

    "The tax protester movement amuses me to no end, especially the sort that claims that the tax law in reality does not require the payment of some sorts of taxes, or withholding, or what have you and that the IRS is just not following its own rules."

    What about the other sort?

  6. Denis o'Callaghan on May 12, 2006 at 08:03

    What about the Boston Tea Party?

  7. PTG on May 12, 2006 at 10:33

    Exactly on point. I tested the tax collectors once. I deliberately failed to pay the Federal portion of my telephone bill. After a few months, 2 Treasury agents came to my house. When I told them I didn't have the $5.30 they wanted, they made me look around my house. Then one of them says they could just take my TV set. I asked what would happen if I didn't let him take my TV. He opened his coat and partially unholstered a big Dirty Harry revolver. I got the point, they settled for $5 even. I'm older and wiser now. They will kill you over $5.

  8. Richard Nikoley on May 14, 2006 at 08:59


    The point is that it doesn't matter and one is a complete fool to believe it does. Google the court cases. Every one of these "legal arguments" have been tried in court and everyone of them has failed, time and again–often with serious consequences to the defendant including huge fines and jail time.

    Back when I did the USENET thing a lot, late 90s, there was a Stanford law student who maintained a website of actual tax-protester court cases–dozens and dozens of them. I don't think that site is around anymore, but it certainly illustrated what I'm saying.

    The State is going to exact "its" tax. That's just the reality–with whatever arguments you might have notwithstanding.

    The valid argument against taxation is the simple, bread-and-butter moral argument against theft. Nothing fancy, clever or complex required. Anything else simply grants the premise that the State has the moral right to steal.

    Go to Wikipedia and see the following articles:

    Tax Protester
    Tax Protester History
    Tax Protester Arguments

  9. new illuminati on May 14, 2006 at 07:50

    Eye assume you're not aware that the US Tax act was NOT signed by enough states to make it law. The current US tax laws have no standing in law and CAN be challenged on that basis.
    But of course, nobody tells you. Usually.

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