IRS Excuses Get Costly This Year

Article excerpt

So you believe objections to military spending means you don't have to pay your taxes? Or you've got no fiduciary responsibility to the U.S. government?

The IRS isn't buying that logic. A rotten excuse is going to cost $5,000 this year.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a notice this month listing four more erroneous, seemingly legal or logical positions that taxpayers should probably not use in order to avoid paying their taxes. Because to make more of an impression on tax-dodgers, the service also established a $5,000 penalty for frivolous submissions.

"It is always amazing the creativity people exhibit when attempting to evade or advise others to evade their tax responsibilities," said David Stell, IRS spokesman for Oklahoma.

The IRS already has a long list of potential excuses that have been tried - 43 published in the latest notice, Stell said - including the idea that tax compliance is a form of involuntary servitude prohibited by the 13th Amendment and taxpayers can buy or sell the right to claim a child for the purposes of an earned income tax credit.

The service added four new positions this year: misinterpretation of the 9th Amendment regarding objections to military spending; erroneous claims that taxes are owed only by persons with a fiduciary relationship to the United States or the IRS; a nonexistent "Mariner's Tax Deduction," or the like, related to invalid deductions for meals; and misuse or excessive use of the Section 6421 fuels credit.

How a person feels about his taxes has no bearing on his responsibility to pay them anyway, said Lynda McColl, a certified public accountant in Mustang.

"The issue is whether you're playing fair," she said. …