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Wesley Snipes sentenced to 3 years in prison

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Clawg
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The Internal Revenue Code describes the taxes that one has to pay. The concept of filing is simply the idea that one must provide certain evidence and show certain calculations.

So what exactly is Ron Paul's claiming? Is he saying that that law allows people to compute their taxes without using the 1040, i.e., that tax-payers are within the law as long as they have paid all their income-tax, even if they used their own format?

If that is his claim, then there are two objections:

Firstly, who cares? Is anyone really saying they're happy to pay taxes, but simply don't like the forms? The complications that people complain about arise from the underlying laws; the form itself does a decent job of reducing those complications to the process of filling up boxes. [Aside: Typical Ron Paul nuttery.]

Secondly, there is no reason why the congress should be personally approving the format of 1040. Take some legitimate purpose of government, like the police or courts. Imagine that the police or courts ask people to use a particular form for a particular purpose. Assume that the purpose and the information collected is legitimate and not unduly burdensome in the context of the purpose being served. In such a case, the prima facie assumption is that the government department may create such forms. In other words, the fact that IRS publishes the form and says that is the one they want people to use, makes it the law.

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Who cares? Well I guess I do, I took the time to post.

Snipes was not convicted of filing a false return.

Snipes was not convicted of evading taxes

He charged with failing to file

And upon further searching (saved $5), it looks like my curiosity has been satisfied

"The Internal Revenue Code is law. It was passed by the United States Congress. It does not come from the IRS. The IRS writes regulations that help implement the Code, but the Code itself was passed by Congress. Under the Constitution, if a bill is passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President, it is the law. That's what happened with the Internal Revenue Code, so the Code is the law."

Internal Revenue Code Section 7203

Section 7203.

Willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax

Any person required under this title to pay any estimated tax or tax, or required by this title or by regulations made under authority thereof to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 ($100,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. In the case of any person with respect to whom there is a failure to pay any estimated tax, this section shall not apply to such person with respect to such failure if there is no addition to tax under section 6654 or 6655 with respect to such failure. In the case of a willful violation of any provision of section 6050I, the first sentence of this section shall be applied by substituting ''felony'' for ''misdemeanor'' and ''5 years'' for ''1 year''.

Cheers

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To quote and translate Bill Ockham, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". The Man says so. Now I imagine that that is a summary drawn from the Code of Federal Regulations and USC Title 26, somewhere likt 26 USC 6012. But if you want to be shown, you will have to pay for the the highly specialized research skills of a tax attorney or accountant, who for a fee can no doubt show you the law. Unless I actually managed to find the essential piece of code (you can send me $5 if you want).

Actually many such people have looked, including former IRS agents and they could not find the law.

EDIT: Not to mention a court case where the jury said a man was innocent because the judge promised to show them the law requiring personal income taxes to be paid and the jury find it. They asked the judge for the law and he said they had all they needed. But the law was not in what they were shown.

Edited by DragonMaci
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Secondly, there is no reason why the congress should be personally approving the format of 1040. Take some legitimate purpose of government, like the police or courts. Imagine that the police or courts ask people to use a particular form for a particular purpose. Assume that the purpose and the information collected is legitimate and not unduly burdensome in the context of the purpose being served. In such a case, the prima facie assumption is that the government department may create such forms. In other words, the fact that IRS publishes the form and says that is the one they want people to use, makes it the law.

Are you seriously suggesting that a government department requiring someone to fill in a form makes it law? Meaning that if, for example, the police requiring you to fill in a form it is the law that you have to do it? If so, that is just plain silly. The government (in other words the Senate and Congress/ Parliament/whatever) makes the laws not the departments.

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Actually many such people have looked, including former IRS agents and they could not find the law.
This may be so. There are basically two questions, one being whether anybody can actually locate the specific section of the US Code which states that which we all know, and the second being whether people can reasonably ignore common knowledge. The US code is really huge, and the Code of Federal Regulations is also non-tiny. There is no question in my mind that while ignorance of the law is no excuse, it is still mandated by reality. However: the IRS is extremely up-front about this necessity to file stuff, and it's not like anybody could possibly argue that ignorance of the law is in this case probable. The fact that it took a disinterested Canadian with the sitzfleisch and skill to actually dig into the charge and find the relevant section of the code before I did simply indicates his superiority on this specific point. (I have no idea how to recorer from that). Now perhaps if you mean that there is a general problem with IRS agents lacking the ability to cope with US law, okay. Paul, in his video-yapping, simply asserted his ignorance of the law (well, actually, he implied it... he didn't say there was no such law, he said he can't find it).

I do think (agreeing with Fuller) that metaphysically-controlled ignorance of the law is horrible, but as long as government agencies are honest, the IRS has clearly said (correctly) what the law is, and if we need to know which part of the code states the law, we can hire Canucks to do the research for us, if we can't figure it out ourselves.

I do agree that the dichotomy between statutory and regulatory law is really bad, but probably not for the reason that you think. As far as I'm concerned, the problem has to do with deference. Basically, statutory law is held to a certain standard, so that statutes can't just be anything or be interpreted any way that Congress might declare (Congress does not make interpretive declarations on cases). But agencies with regulatory power can make decisions and are not held to the same standard as applies to statutes. At the bottom end of that scale, you will find entities within state agencies which are, frankly, pretty friggin' incompetent as far as basic law and justice stuff goes, but deference to their decisions is granted. This is a problem with IRS agents, who from what I can tell, are just a half a notch above TSA agents. (God, now I'm screwed both in terms of my upcoming travel and my tax return).

Anyhow, if you were German I might understand your confusion, but as a victim of common law practice, you should know that law has at least three major components: statutes, regulations, and precedent. In this case, though, this turned out not to even be a regulatory matter. The Canadian cited the actual congressionally-passed law of the land, so that puts paid to the accusation of silliness. Of course, not the observation of evilness.

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Congress writes law which creates agencies having certain powers. Agencies are free to write regulations within their powers.

What is your point?

This may be so. There are basically two questions, one being whether anybody can actually locate the specific section of the US Code which states that which we all know

I assume by "we all" you mean "all Americans" not "all people" because many people from other countries do not know about such how such works in the US. As an example: I only just heard of a 1040 weeks ago and beyond its existence and the purpose of it I know nothing about it.

and the second being whether people can reasonably ignore common knowledge.

If it really is knowledge, then no they cannot. However, whether or not they can is beside my point.

The US code is really huge, and the Code of Federal Regulations is also non-tiny.

Well the former IRS agents and former IRS lawyers I am talking about looked through the full thing and couldn't find what requires personal income tax returns. Neither could the jury after looking through it all.

There is no question in my mind that while ignorance of the law is no excuse, it is still mandated by reality.

What do you mean by "it is still mandated by reality"? Reality does not mandate taxes; quite the reverse since they are destructive.

However: the IRS is extremely up-front about this necessity to file stuff, and it's not like anybody could possibly argue that ignorance of the law is in this case probable.

I am not suggesting it is probable. I am suggesting that former IRS agents and lawyers, and the jury could not find the law requiring personal tax returns after looking through the statutes and regulations. That is a matter of inability to find the law either because it isn't there or because they failed in some way, not ignorance. In fact all of them went into it assuming there is such a law, so one could hardly call them ignorant in the way you are suggesting, ie, ignorant of the existence of that law.

The fact that it took a disinterested Canadian with the sitzfleisch and skill to actually dig into the charge and find the relevant section of the code before I did simply indicates his superiority on this specific point.

I have no idea what that has to do with anything let alone the rest of the paragraph that it is from.

Now perhaps if you mean that there is a general problem with IRS agents lacking the ability to cope with US law, okay.

I am not saying that, but if the law does exist and the former IRS agents and tax lawyers cannot find the law then a problem exists, whether it be the inability of the agents and lawyers, or ambiguous or misleading wording in the law that creates confusion or misinterpretations.

In fact I am not even saying that there isn't a law. I am suggesting that it may just be that the IRS says there is but there in fact is not, whether it be fraud or error on their part. I am not sure if that is so, but I do wonder based on what I have seen.

Paul, in his video-yapping, simply asserted his ignorance of the law (well, actually, he implied it... he didn't say there was no such law, he said he can't find it).

Maybe, but I am not going from his video, though if it is the one where CNBC interviewed him and a former IRS tax lawyer then I have seen it.

I do think (agreeing with Fuller) that metaphysically-controlled ignorance of the law is horrible

What is "metaphyscially controlled ignorance of the law"?

but as long as government agencies are honest

Government agencies honest? Isn't that a contradiction in terms in today's system of government?

I do agree that the dichotomy between statutory and regulatory law is really bad, but probably not for the reason that you think.

Actually, I don't have any reason because I don't think that. I have no idea if there even is a dichotomy. I don't even know what the two types of law are in the US and as far as I know we have only regulations in the form of Bills and Acts in NZ, not statutes. But I could be wrong about that since I have little idea how the NZ system on MMP works beyond the fact that we have 120 seats, though sometimes more depending on how Moari seat and elective seat votes go, and that the system boosts government spending by making coalitions almost a neccessity to get 61 or more seats to form the government.

As far as I'm concerned, the problem has to do with deference. Basically, statutory law is held to a certain standard, so that statutes can't just be anything or be interpreted any way that Congress might declare (Congress does not make interpretive declarations on cases). But agencies with regulatory power can make decisions and are not held to the same standard as applies to statutes.

Then there is a point of difference with the NZ system (I think). I believe all NZ laws are up to intepretation, especially with the ambigious wording of many of them (eg: The Bill of Rights states that we have the right to use "reasonable force" in self-defence, even if it is fatal without defining what the law considers to be "reasonable force"), but even without the ambigious wording they are still open to interpretation. In fact some even leave whether or not something is illegal up to police descretion (eg: the Anti-Smacking Bill leaves it up to the police whether or not a parent has used an illegal level of force on their children, meaning that a parent might, at a police's descretion get charged for lightly shoving his child out the door to hurry the child off to school - and one parent did, though he was found innocent).

This is a problem with IRS agents, who from what I can tell, are just a half a notch above TSA agents.

TSA? What is that?

Anyhow, if you were German I might understand your confusion, but as a victim of common law practice, you should know that law has at least three major components: statutes, regulations, and precedent.

I am from New Zealand, not the USA, so there is no, "I should know". I am a victim of a different system.

Edited by DragonMaci
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Anyhow, if you were German I might understand your confusion, but as a victim of common law practice, you should know that law has at least three major components: statutes, regulations, and precedent.

I am from New Zealand, not the USA, so there is no, "I should know". I am a victim of a different system.

In this case, though, this turned out not to even be a regulatory matter. The Canadian cited the actual congressionally-passed law of the land, so that puts paid to the accusation of silliness. Of course, not the observation of evilness.

If you are referring to my calling SoftwareNerd's comment silly it does no such thing and is in fact beside the point of that post.

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That is a pointless statement since it doesn't really say anything. You need to explain how it isn't.
My mistake! I should have known you wouldn't get that little joke. Anyhow, never any point explaining a joke, so I'll let that go, and get back on topic.

There's not much to say except that if you look back at the posts, you'll see multiple references to the relevant law and the relevant regulation. So, I'm not quite sure what these ex-IRS agents are not finding, when Wodger, David and I all found the relevant bits and pieces in hardly any time (I assume all three of us just used some Google-type thing). Since the portions of the law have been quoted above, I don't understand why you're simply ignoring them and claiming that these IRS guys have it right.

As an aside: David likely knows you;re from NZ. "Common law" is found across all ex-British places.

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You asked. I assume you wanted an answer.

Yes, and I was asking what the point of the answer was. I did not know since I did not know what you meant.

Congress writes a law enacting an agency with a certain domain of powers. The agency writes a regulation within the agency's power. The regulation is, effectively, law.

If what the agency writes is law then there is a problem; the government should be making laws, not the agencies.

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My mistake! I should have known you wouldn't get that little joke.

Maybe you should of tried wording it as a joke and I might of seen it as one. It is very hard to tell when someone's text is a joke when they don't word it as such or use some other means of making it clear it was a joke. And as a side note, as jokes go it was rather poor.

There's not much to say except that if you look back at the posts, you'll see multiple references to the relevant law and the relevant regulation.

All I saw was people saying the IRS says this or that, which does not convince me that such a law exists.

So, I'm not quite sure what these ex-IRS agents are not finding, when Wodger, David and I all found the relevant bits and pieces in hardly any time (I assume all three of us just used some Google-type thing).

Do you know that you were looking for the same thing as them because until you do you shouldn't be commenting on you finding what they were trying to find.

As Google just does not cut it considering that they looked through a far better source, ie, the statutes and regulations.

Since the portions of the law have been quoted above, I don't understand why you're simply ignoring them and claiming that these IRS guys have it right.

I am not ignoring it. Nor am I saying they are right. If you read my reply to DavidOdden you will see a statement of what I am actually doing.

As an aside: David likely knows you;re from NZ. "Common law" is found across all ex-British places.

He does a poor job of showing it and in fact acts like he doesn't. Besides, the error I was pointing out was mainly that he cannot rationally say I should know USA common law because I have not been a victim of it and have in fact been a victim of NZ common law. The law he was saying I should know about is a USA law not an NZ one. We have no 1040, only a similar document under a different name and different laws.

EDIT 1: I clarified the wording in the second to last reply block.

EDIT 2: As an aside, NZ hasn't gone the full way to being independent of Britain unlike the USA. We are still a part of the Commonwealth and still under the British monarchy to some extent. In fact some of our local rates (a form of land tax charged by all regional governments) are supposed to go to the monarchy. None of it does don't, but some of it meant to.

Edited by DragonMaci
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Well the former IRS agents and former IRS lawyers I am talking about looked through the full thing and couldn't find what requires personal income tax returns. Neither could the jury after looking through it all.
It's strange that a tax lawyer actually doesn't know the code, but the world is full of incompetents. I don't know what jury you are referring to, but any jury would be told which sections of the code are alleged to have been violated.
Reality does not mandate taxes; quite the reverse since they are destructive.
By rules of English grammar, the only possible referent for "it" would be "ignorance".
I am suggesting that former IRS agents and lawyers, and the jury could not find the law requiring personal tax returns after looking through the statutes and regulations.
I don't find that credible: where is the evidence? Where did you get this idea in the first place?
That is a matter of inability to find the law either because it isn't there or because they failed in some way, not ignorance.
It is ignorance. I assume you are unfamiliar with the rule "ignorance of the law is ino excuse". It means that for any law, you are excpected to know and abide by that law, and you cannot defend yourself by saying "I did not know that there was such a law". It's even worse if a person argues that they have no obligation to obey a law that they know exists if they can't find the specific number in the US code. It's only libertoonian evaders like Ron Paul why try to pretend that there is no actual law. The law is quoted in this thread, so please pay closer attention. If you want to invoke former IRS agents, lawyers and juries, you have to provide some context. Names, for example. Give us a reason to believe that there are such people incapable of reading an indictment.

You might read up on English comon law, which is the foundation of UK, Canadian, NZ and US law. Also Strine law. Don't want to leave them out.

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I don't know what jury you are referring to, but any jury would be told which sections of the code are alleged to have been violated.

No, they were expected to find it own their own without any help according to the juror that was interviwed.

By rules of English grammar, the only possible referent for "it" would be "ignorance".

Sorry, i looked back at what you said and it seems i misread you. I apologize for that and the subsequent hassle that caused you.

I don't find that credible: where is the evidence? Where did you get this idea in the first place?

Firstly, you have no reason to not believe they couldn't find it; you yourself provided an possible explanation for their lack of ability to find it when you said:

It's strange that a tax lawyer actually doesn't know the code, but the world is full of incompetents.

(Bold added to illustrate what part I am referring to.)

Secondly, I don't think it is necessary to prove that people failed to find the law. Just because a law is there does not many any particular person will find it (assuming for the sake of this paragraph the law is there).

Thirdly, it is not an idea, but rather a claim by those people that they could not find the law. Whether or not they are telling they truth is up for debate, as is whether or not they were incompetent.

It is ignorance.

Again you just said how they could credibly not see the law. Another possibility is that they were stupid or could not interpret the legalese in the case of the jurors. As I am sure you are aware, manyl people get confused by legalese. And I suspect that is the way the regulators want it to be.

I assume you are unfamiliar with the rule "ignorance of the law is is no excuse".

Yes, but I never said it was, so you wasted your time.

It means that for any law, you are expected to know and abide by that law, and you cannot defend yourself by saying "I did not know that there was such a law".

Yes, but I am not arguing otherwise, so you wasted your time.

It's even worse if a person argues that they have no obligation to obey a law that they know exists if they can't find the specific number in the US code.

Neither I nor the people I am referring to said anything like that.

It's only libertoonian evaders like Ron Paul why try to pretend that there is no actual law.

Well, the people I am referring to are not saying there is none; they are saying they cannot find it and are challenging the IRS and congress to show them the law, which if anything assumes there is one despite their inability to find it, but what they are getting is suspicious evasions, irrelevant insults, contradictory statements, and rubbish comments like the claim the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings are irrelevant. That is suspicious; if the the law is there, and I will assume for now it is, why not just show it rather than just evade, insult, contradict themselves, and claim the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings are irrelevant?

The law is quoted in this thread, so please pay closer attention.

Could you point it out? Because all I saw was a statement from the IRS that merely seemed to be saying there is a law. Maybe I misread it or misunderstood it, but that is what it seemed to me. But in any case it was not a lack of paying attention.

If you want to invoke former IRS agents, lawyers and juries, you have to provide some context. Names, for example.

That would be true if I was trying to prove something, but since I am not trying to it is not necessary.

Give us a reason to believe that there are such people incapable of reading an indictment.

What is an indictment?

You might read up on English comon law, which is the foundation of UK, Canadian, NZ and US law. Also Strine law. Don't want to leave them out.

We are not under British common law anymore; we are under NZ law. It is NZ laws that matter to what I am legally required to do. Beside, the debate is about US law not British, NZ, or Canadian law.

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Thirdly, it is not an idea, but rather a claim by those people that they could not find the law.
I understand the source of your misunderstanding now. The video that you referred to is simply not real; it has zero credibility. I thought you were referring to some documented instance where a jury was supposed to verify the existence of a law, etc. The film which you found is pure propaganda with zero truth value, even though I agree that taxation is evil. Lying is also evil.

You need to do a better job on your basic research, and stop being so gullible.

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I understand the source of your misunderstanding now. The video that you referred to is simply not real; it has zero credibility.

You know saying that without proof counts for nothing.

I thought you were referring to some documented instance where a jury was supposed to verify the existence of a law, etc.

That was a baseless assumption since I gave you no indication of my source.

The film which you found is pure propaganda with zero truth value, even though I agree that taxation is evil. Lying is also evil.

Read my first reply block for my reply to this.

You need to do a better job on your basic research, and stop being so gullible.

That would be true had I believed it. However, I did not. Nor did I disbelief it. I was on the fence (and still am since I have only your word that the video is not true and no proof). I put many disclaimers in my posts to make that clear. I can quote them if you want.

EDIT: Anyway, in short, I was not gullible since to be gullible you have to believe something first. And as a side note, there are many elements about that film that I am skeptical about.

Edited by DragonMaci
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It's not important what you think "counts" -- what matters is the truth. Posting that rant in the first place was a waste of time.

Firstly, the point was that saying what you did without proof is pointless. I am not going to simply take your word without proof.

Secondly, it was neither a rant nor a waste of time.

Thirdly, if you think it was a waste of time why did you reply? Isn't replying to something you consider a waste of time rather pointless and also a waste of time?

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Could you point it out? Because all I saw was a statement from the IRS that merely seemed to be saying there is a law. Maybe I misread it or misunderstood it, but that is what it seemed to me.

In the US, Federal Agencies (such as the IRS) frequently publish regulations that have the force of law. These are not laws passed by any legislative body, but they still have the force of law and are backed by the police powers of the federal government. This is the authority under which the IRS operates when it prosecutes people for failure to file a tax return. Despite what some tax protestors would have you believe, the IRS has the legal ability to take away your freedom and your posessions if you fail to follow their rules.

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David,

When a federal agency like the EPA promulgates regulations, do these always come under the authority granted that agency by some overarching law? For example, I assume that EPA regs covering air pollution are authorized by one of the versions of the Clean Air Act. Even though these federal agencies seem to have carte blanche to issue regulations almost arbitrarily, I assume that their authority can always be traced back to some piece of legislation that went through Congress and was ultimately signed by the president.

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In the US, Federal Agencies (such as the IRS) frequently publish regulations that have the force of law. These are not laws passed by any legislative body, but they still have the force of law and are backed by the police powers of the federal government. This is the authority under which the IRS operates when it prosecutes people for failure to file a tax return. Despite what some tax protestors would have you believe, the IRS has the legal ability to take away your freedom and your posessions if you fail to follow their rules.

Firstly, I asked about the law, not whether or not they have the authority. The two are not the same. I know they have the authority; that much is obvious from the fact that they are allowed to get away with what they do. Secondly, the tax protesters do not believe the the IRS does not have the ability. That isn't what they are saying. Having the ability to take away our freedom and the law requiring a 1040 be filed are different things.

As a side note, I prefer the way that here in NZ only parliament can pass national laws and that the various government agencies and departments cannot. The local councils can pass bi-laws of course, but in their case they have no agencies. They might have a few departments, but I am not sure.

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Adding insult to injury, now the government is attempting to make Snipes pay for his own prosecution.

Prosecutors who convicted actor Wesley Snipes on charges of failing to file his tax return for three years have filed a cross-appeal demanding that he pay $257,687.74 for the cost of prosecuting him......

Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Scotland Morris submitted a bill of costs to Judge Gary R. Jones of the U.S. District Court in Ocala, Fla., saying Snipes should pay $193,716.98 for the scanning, printing and numbering of documents; $61,326.18 in witness-related fees, $2,456.40 in fees for daily trial transcripts and other costs, and $188.18 in fees for copying and certification of trial exhibits.

http://www.webcpa.com/article.cfm?ARTICLEID=28016

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