Some Americans don’t believe in taxes at all. No one particularly enjoys paying taxes, even though most Americans do believe that their contributions make a difference.
What happens if you believe that the entire concept of taxation is problematic? Conscientious objectors are able to avoid warfare, but can those who object to taxes avoid paying the IRS?
The short answer: no, there’s no way out of paying your taxes. The IRS has a term for your beliefs — tax protests — and a strict no-nonsense policy.
Aren’t Taxes Supposed to Be Voluntary?
Those who object to paying taxes may claim that, according to the instruction book for Form 1040, taxes should be voluntary. The IRS addresses this argument by defining the term “voluntary” as involving a “system of allowing taxpayers to determine the correct amount of tax and complete the appropriate returns, rather than have the government determine tax for them.”
Tax Protests Deemed Frivolous
According to the IRS, tax protest arguments are frivolous — they have no legitimate purpose or value. If these arguments are used to avoid paying taxes on time, the IRS will assess penalties as it would for anybody who failed to abide by tax obligations. These could include not only costly civil consequences but also, the potential for criminal charges and related fines. In severe cases, imprisonment may even be a possibility.
The IRS warns that those who “adopt [tax protest] positions may face harsher consequences than those who merely promote them.” Consequences specifically referenced by the IRS include the section 6662 accuracy-related penalty and the section 663 civil fraud penalty.
At the Highland Tax Group, we understand your frustrations with the current tax system. Owe the IRS, we can help you keep your IRS burden to a minimum. Contact us today to learn more about our tax services and solutions.