As published in the Winter Park/Maitland Observer, Thursday Jan. 3, 2012 Edition Offers... Read More »
Tax Protesters Tilt at Windmills: Title 26 Was Never Enacted Therefore the IRS Lacks the Authority to Collect Taxes
I have been harangued recently by a couple of my readers about a very old tax protester argument that they claim has never been refuted.
Reader Chad – we’ll call him Don Quixote - frames the argument thusly:
There are lots of dumb arguments made by a lot of people, but there are those of us who know the IRS is all about half-truths and blatent lies.
One example: The IRS has no collection authority. No authority to create assessments, issue liens and levies, but they do anyway.
Here is the proof:
In TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 80 > Subchapter B > § 7851(a)(6)(A) we find:
General rule – The provisions of subtitle F shall take effect on the day after the date of enactment of this title and shall be applicable with respect to any tax imposed by this title.
The provisions of subtitle F shall apply with respect to any tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 only to the extent provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph. “
Since the authority you quote only takes effect the day after Title 26 is “enacted” and since Title 26 has never been enacted, no parts of Title 26 > Subtitle F are laws. They do not yet exist. The IRS has NO Collection Authority.
Call them and ask them if they can issue liens. You will get a bunch of lies because that is all they have.
Chad’s sidekick, Dale – we’ll call him Sancho Panza – provides the obligatory echo:
Chad cited a very specific code, which is not only for us “peons” to follow, but the Gov’t as well!
Dale added his own hackneyed protester argument to the mix, but I will deal with that version of nutwackery in a future post.
Although I am sure it won’t make a lick of difference to Chad Quxiote and Sancho Dale, it took me all of ten minutes to find the following three cases in which the Courts have made short shrift of this particular frivolous argument (emphases are mine):
Ryan v. Bilby, 764 F.2d 1325, 1328 (9th Cir. 1985):
In the case of Ryan v. Bilby, the taxpayer, Dennis Ryan, had been convicted of failure to file tax returns. He therefore sued the district court judge, the prosecutor, his own attorney, two magistrates, and the IRS agents in the case. Ryan’s lawsuit was thrown out. He then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled against Ryan and stated:
Ryan’s primary contention on appeal is that, as Congress has never enacted Title 26 of the United States Code into positive law, the defendants violated his constitutional rights by attempting to enforce it. [footnote omitted] Thus, he concludes, the district court erred by dismissing his suit.
This contention is frivolous.
Congress’s failure to enact a title [of the United States Code] into positive law has only evidentiary significance and does not render the underlying enactment invalid or unenforceable. See 1 U. S. C. §204(a) (1982) (the text of titles not enacted into positive law is only prima facie evidence of the law itself).
Like it or not, the Internal Revenue Code is the law, and the defendants did not violate Ryan’s rights by enforcing it.
The Court of Appeals imposed penalties on Mr. Ryan under 28 U.S.C. section 1912, in the form of ordering him to pay double costs, for filing a frivolous appeal.
Young v. Internal Revenue Service, 596 F.Supp 141 (1984)
Similarly, in Young v. Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana stated:
Plaintiff [the taxpayer, Jerry L. Young] asserts that the Internal Revenue Code does not apply to him. The basis for this claim is not easily found in the complaint. According to “plaintiff’s answer to the court in re of defendant’s pleadings,” “It is a Fact that the Internal Revenue Code is NOT Postive [sic] Law. That U. S. C. Title 26 has NEVER been passed by Congress.” (Emphasis in original).
[A]lthough Congress did not pass the Code as a title, it did enact the Internal Revenue Code as a separate Code, see Act of August 16, 1954, 68A Stat. 1, which was then denominated as Title 26 by the House Judiciary Committee pursuant to 1 U. S. C. §202(a).
Finally, even if Title 26 was not itself enacted into positive law, that does not mean that the laws under that title are null and void. A law listed in the current edition of the United States Code is prima facie evidence of the law of the United States. See 1 U. S. C. §204(a). As the letter offered by the plaintiff points out, “The courts could require proof of the underlying statutes when a law is in a title of the code which has not been enacted into positive law.”
In short, this court has the discretion to recognize the Internal Revenue Code as the applicable law, or require proof of the underlying statute.
Consistent with that discretion, this court recognizes that the Internal Revenue Code is positive law applicable to disputes concerning whether taxes are owned by someone like the plaintiff. This court refuses to embrace the plaintiff’s position that the tax laws of the United States are some kind of hoax designed by the IRS to violate the constitutional rights of United States citizens.
Quite simply, the court finds plaintiff’s position preposterous.
United States v. McLain, Case No. 08-CR-0010, (D Minnesota) (2009)
Finally, in United States v. McLain, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota stated:
[The taxpayer, Frances] McLain also contends that the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 is prima facie evidence of the law on which Title 26 is based. Docket No. 163 at 4.
McLain is incorrect.
The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted into positive law in the form of a separate code and, as amended, is the authoritative statement of the law. 1 U.S.C. § 204(a) & note; ch. 736, 68A Stat. 3, 3 (1954); Pub. L. No. 99-514, 100 Stat. 2085, 2095 (1986) (stating that the Internal Revenue Title enacted in 1954, as amended, may be cited as the Internal Revenue Code of 1986); Tax Analysts v. IRS, 214 F.3d 179, 182 n.1 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
Moreover, while McLain is technically correct in arguing that Title 26 is merely prima facie evidence of the law, the distinction is largely academic because the relevant sections of Title 26 are identical to the relevant sections of the Internal Revenue Code.
The argument that the Internal Revenue Code is not “law,” the argument that the Internal Revenue Code is not “positive law”, the argument that nothing in the Internal Revenue Code imposes a requirement to file a return or pay tax, and similar arguments, have been identified as frivolous arguments for purposes of the $5,000 penalty for taking a frivolous position on a tax return.
But that won’t stop Chad and Dale from dreaming the impossible dream.