My Top 10 Frivolous Tax Arguments


Every year the IRS releases the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams. Along with it, they list out the most frivolous tax arguments. This is some of the best reading. I like to read through them to prepare for the crazy things clients are going to call me with.

Here are my absolute favorites:

10. The filing of a tax return is voluntary

9. Taxpayers can refuse to pay income taxes on religious or moral grounds by invoking the First Amendment

8. The IRS must prepare federal tax returns for a person who fails to file

7. Taxpayers do not have to file returns or provide financial information because of the protection against self-incrimination found in the Fifth Amendment

6. Compelled compliance with the federal income tax laws is a form of servitude in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment

5. The Tax Court does not have the authority to decide legal issues

4. African Americans can claim a special tax credit as reparations for slavery and other oppressive treatment

3.  A “corporation sole” can be established and used for the purpose of avoiding federal income taxes

2. The Internal Revenue Service is not an agency of the United States

1. Taxpayer is not a “person” as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, thus is not subject to the federal income tax laws

Whatever crazy people try to tell you this tax season, remember, you are the professional and if it sounds insane, it probably is. And, if you’re ever bored, read through the IRS’s analysis of all of these arguments. They go into the legal reasons of why these insane arguments are not legal.

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Liz Mason is a serial entrepreneur, a giant nerd, and an involved accounting vanguard. She is the Founder of High Rock Accounting, Rebel Rock Accounting, TheDepartment.Tax, and a few other related brands. Liz speaks on a national stage, guests stars on podcasts, and writes frequently. To further her passion for the advancement of the accounting profession, Liz currently serves as a Xero National Ambassador and as the Content Strategist for Tax Practice News. Liz started her career in tax at Grant Thornton (at 20) and automated a portion of her job landing her in the national tax practice. She spent a decade in large public accounting firms working on highly technical tax consulting before branching off on her own. Liz utilizes her creativity and passion at her company to uproot traditional practices and replace them with innovative concepts. She finds joy in efficient technology and her core belief is that everyone and everything can continuously improve (she says "be better" too often). When Liz isn't planning world domination in accounting, she is a die-hard skier, down for any adventure, plays the ukulele, reads everything, and has a good sense of humor. If you're looking for her, you can find her traveling the world and enjoying new food and cultures with her young son. Follow Liz and High Rock Accounting on Twitter at @LizzyNorMa and @HighRockCPAs.