The Dangers of Dancing with Frivolous Tax Arguments

Most people don’t get excited to pay their taxes – for most, it’s quite the opposite. There are a few who decide to take a stand against the IRS with less-than legitimate claims, known as frivolous arguments. While standing up to the IRS in cases of injustice is an important part of keeping our tax systems in check, these frivolous arguments are not constructive, and in fact, may lead to even more penalties than what you’re already on the hook for. 

The IRS has a running list of the more notable or common frivolous arguments they face.  You can check the IRS website for a more extensive list of arguments that may get you in trouble.  But before you bring a case to the IRS, consulting an experienced tax law attorney is always recommended. In 2016, the IRS worked alongside the Department of Justice to break up a series of groups promoting these frivolous arguments as a method to avoid having to pay taxes. The IRS may impose a penalty of $5,000 for filing a frivolous return or for making a frivolous submission to the IRS, which includes a frivolous request for a collection due process hearing, an offer-in-compromise, an installment agreement, or a taxpayer assistance order. Other steep penalties may follow depending on the methods used in an attempt to dodge taxes, which include an added 75% penalty of your unpaid taxes for civil fraud, or a 5% penalty per month of unpaid taxes for failure to file, on top of the taxes already owed. 

Some of the more common arguments people make against the IRS include: religious exemptions for individuals on the basis of the first amendment, that taxation of citizens is unconstitutional, and that they are citizens of their states, not the federal government. Time and time again, these arguments have been proven to be unfounded, and represent a significant misunderstanding of how U.S. tax law functions. While these arguments are some of the more outlandish examples, others may seem more reputable to those who aren’t tax law experts, such as the claim that tips and other similar compensation are not income, and thus aren’t subject to taxes; or that an IRS investigation violates constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

While avoiding taxes may seem like a risk worth taking, it’s most definitely not. These penalties and the history of frivolous arguments against the IRS show definitively that they’re only effective in draining the wallets of those who try them. Before interacting with the IRS, whether in response to an investigation or to bring a case against them, you should always consult an experienced tax law attorney. Weisberg, Kainen, Mark is here to help. With over 40 years of experience in tax law, we’re knowledgeable in what works and what to avoid when dealing with the IRS. Give us a call today at (305) 374-5544 to schedule your consultation.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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