4 Arguments Against Paying Taxes and the IRS’s Response

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Resistance to taxes is by no means a new sentiment. Many historical events, such as the those following the Stamp Act and the Whiskey Rebellion, were expressions of Americans’ attitudes about the taxation they thought was unfair.

Today’s tax code faces a large degree of criticism, even some opposition. Aware of the hot-button nature of this topic, policymakers and politicians use the tax code as a platform upon which to run a campaign or gain support. Citizens, meanwhile, argue against the sheer nature of the tax collection process.

Is there any validity to these arguments? The Internal Revenue Service recently published a report entitled “The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments.” In it, the IRS responds to many of the arguments against the tax collection process. Here are a few of the main arguments and the IRS’s response to each.

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1. Paying taxes is voluntary

The first and perhaps most direct argument against the U.S. tax system is the idea that filing a return and paying taxes is voluntary. Primary points include court cases like Flora v. United States, in which the term “voluntary” is used to describe how the tax system is based on “voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”

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