Letter: Refusal to pay taxes may have backfired
Will, you recently wrote a letter to the editor that you have not filed income tax returns for 12 years and demanded that someone produce instructions that you may present to your employer that would allow your employer not to withhold income taxes from your pay checks (“Put an end to income taxes,” April 15, Letters, The Aspen Times).
You cited certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code to substantiate your claim that legally you do not have to pay income tax. First and foremost, paying income tax is rooted to the Constitution. The Constitution was amended in 1913 and was legally adopted by more than two-thirds of the state legislatures (42 of the 48, to be exact) to allow Congress to assess income taxes upon citizens. The 16th Amendment states, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
The bottom line is that you must pay income taxes as long as you are an income producer. You also will find in other sections of the tax code that ours is a “pay as you go system,” meaning that either your employer conveniently withholds a prescribed amount of tax from your paycheck each payday, or you pay quarterly estimated taxes during the tax year. Incidently, every argument presented in any legitimate court in the land proclaiming income tax as improper or illegal has been shot down over the past 100 years since the adoption of the 16th Amendment.
The irony is that it sounds like you have been a W-2 employee for the past 12 years that you claim not to have filed income tax returns. I assume, based on your letter to the editor, that your employers have withheld taxes from your paychecks during those 12 years, and most likely, if you are among the vast majority of W-2 employees in the country, your employer withheld and paid over more taxes than you would have eventually owed had you filed tax returns claiming your rightful deductions and exemptions.
If you had filed tax returns, most likely, you would have received refunds for at least some of those years that you refused to file. Furthermore, the IRS will not go after people who the IRS figures overpaid their taxes, which I assume to be your case, and that is most likely why you have not heard from the IRS in all these many years. I would venture to bet that your tax protest has only resulted in you paying more than your fair share of taxes.