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Income Tax Myths

"There's a big reward available to anyone who can prove the income tax law exists."

Why Don't I Claim The Reward?

Many Internet sites appear to offer a big reward (anywhere from $10,000 to $1,000,000) for anyone who can show people the law requiring Americans to pay income taxes. If I'm so right, why don't I claim these rewards and get rich?

I'd love to, but these reward offers are bogus. On close examination, they always contain some catch that makes them unclaimable.

The Catch in the Bogus Reward Offers

For example, the blogspot page of Ed Brown (the New Hampshire protestor who holed up in his house for months after his criminal conviction) used to have a $1,000,000 reward offer. I can't give you the exact quote anymore, but as I recall it used to offer $1,000,000 in property to anyone who could show the tax law. But it contained the statement "we are fully aware of Title 26."

So effectively, the Brown offer was, "I'll pay you $1,000,000 if you can show me the law requiring people to pay income taxes, provided it isn't Title 26." That leaves you where you would be if someone said, "I'll pay you $1,000,000 if you can name the capital of New York state, provided it isn't Albany." Kind of pointless.

Another common trick is to require those claiming the reward to disprove some true statements. For example one page offered $10,000 to anyone who could prove a whole list of statements to be false. Well, some of the statements were typical tax protestor absurdities, but others were just true statements, such as "The Constitution gives the federal/national government limited powers." There was no way to win the reward by proving that all the statements are false, since some of them were true.

A different catch was present in the Freedom Law School offer. That offer came close to being a reward for showing the income tax law, but the offer was to the first person who could show the law. If you showed them the law, they could just say that someone else had shown them the law already, and how would you disprove that?

And of course, all these catches are before we get to the practical problems, such as: (1) obviously no tax protestor really intends to pay these rewards, (2) they probably don't have the money anyway, (3) it would require a long and costly lawsuit to collect, (4) many of these offerors don't reveal a real name and address so that you could sue them if necessary, and (5) some of them (e.g., Ed Brown) are in jail and the IRS is selling off such property as they actually have.

[I used to have links to all these reward offers, but some have vanished over the years. Similar analysis likely applies to any current offers.]

If anyone had a real, no-catch offer of big money for anyone who can show them the income tax law, I would happily apply. If the offer were big enough (say, $100,000 or more), and they really had the money, I would even be ready to sue them to collect.

Are you a rich protestor reading this right now? Are you ready to reveal your real name and address? Do you actually have big money in the bank that you'd offer to pay me if I can show you the law that requires average Americans to pay income taxes? I await your e-mail.

But there's no point going after bogus offers.