Why do those in the THM believe the law does not make them liable for the federal income tax and that, not being liable, the law does not require them to file income tax returns?

The THM's search for a law that makes the typical working American liable for the income tax

Their Quest for the Law and Their Gleanings:

First and foremost among the beliefs of the Tax Honesty Movement is that the law does not make the typical working American liable for the federal income tax.  For many years, now, Tax Honesty proponents have pressed the IRS to admit that there is no law that makes the average working American liable for the income tax.  For as many years, the IRS has refused to respond, simply calling the question a "frivolous tax protester argument". 

The THM contends that there is no statute imposing liability on American citizens working here at home.  So is there?  Or isn't there?  This would appear to be the simplest of claims to either bear out or disprove, so why hasn't this claim been eradicated?  Or is there a basis for this THM contention?  If there is a basis, then it isn't "frivolous", is it?  A reason to believe makes a belief reasonable, doesn't it?

For decades the IRS has refused to respond to the question, stating it is not required to say what statute imposes liability and that it is not required to answer such questions.  When servants sit mute and sullen when answers are demanded by their masters can you fault their masters for doubting them and conducting an inventory of the family silverware?

The IRS is also silent with regard to the absence of a specific liability provision in its list of "frivolous" arguments.  The IRS web page on "frivolous" arguments does not list the absence of a liability provision as frivolous.  So is it frivolous?  Or is there a legal basis for it?

One senator responded to a constituent's inquiry that there is no such law, but went on to say that liability is implied.  But as attorneys and tax professionals, not senators, we know that tax laws are strictly construed and that there is no such thing as an implied tax or an implied tax liability.  The letter of the law alone rules, regardless of legislative intent, and if there is any ambiguity, that ambiguity must be resolved against the government and in favor of the citizen.  See Gould v. Gould 263 U.S. 179, 187-8 (1923), and U.S. v. Merriam, 263 U.S. 179, 187-8 (1923). This rule of strict construction applies to issues of not only what is taxed and how the amount of the tax is calculated, but to who is liable for its payment, as well. U. S v. Calamaro, 354 U.S. 351 (1957).

Large rewards have been offered to anyone who can produce any statute imposing liability for the income tax on the average American working citizen.  One of those, a reward of $100,000, is still offered and outstanding.  No one—not one single person—has stepped forward to claim any of those rewards.  Why not?

A search of the Internal Revenue Code reveals many references to liability and every single tax in the code has a specific section, usually titled "Liability for Tax" or "Persons Liable", that clearly and plainly identifies all those who are liable for the tax.  Well . . . almost every single tax.  The one and only exception?  The income tax, Subtitle A.

Is it necessary to have a liability provision?  Well . . . yes.  Important enough that every other tax has a specific statute that clearly and plainly identifies everyone liable for its payment.  A tax that fails to make anyone liable for its payment will not generate very much revenue.  The Supreme Court has held numerous times (See Gould, Merriam, Calamaro, supra) that unless one is clearly and plainly made liable by the letter of the law he is free of the tax even if it was the intent of the legislature to tax him.

The Internal Revenue Code makes liability pivotal in many respects.  For example, Section 6001 provides that

"Every person LIABLE for any tax imposed by this title [and that would include the income tax, wouldn't it?] or for the collection thereof shall keep such records, render such statements, make such returns and comply with such rules and regulations as the Secretary may from time to time prescribe."

So if the law says you are LIABLE you must keep records, but if it does not you are not required to maintain any records.  If the law says you are LIABLE you must make returns, but what if the law does not say you are liable?  No return is required.  If the law says you are LIABLE the regulations apply to you, but if not?  No.  And that would include the regulations on form and manner of filing returns.

That is a pretty big difference if one person is required to file an income tax return but his neighbor is not, don't you think?  Congress has imposed all these duties, but only on those the law says are LIABLE for a tax, so it would be important for Congress to say who those LIABLE persons are, wouldn't it? 

Since knowing whether one is liable determines whether he is required to file a tax return, what does the IRS say about who must file an income tax return?  In its 1040 Instruction Book the IRS's Privacy Act Notice states

"Our legal right to ask for information is Internal Revenue Code sections 6001, 6011, and 6012(a), and their regulations. They say that you must file a return or statement with us for any tax you are LIABLE for."

What else hinges on there being a liability provision?  Section 6321 says that

"If any person LIABLE to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay the same after demand, the amount . . . shall be a lien in favor of the United States upon all property and rights to property, whether real or personal, belonging to such person." 

No liability imposed on one?  No lien.  Pretty important, isn't it?

How about Section 6331

"If any person LIABLE to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay the same within 10 days after notice and demand, it shall be lawful for the Secretary to collect such tax . . . by levy upon all property and rights to property." 

If one is not liable then his property is not subject to seizure for the tax.

So knowing who the law says is LIABLE is very important, isn't it?  One would think that is why every tax . . . well . . . almost every tax, has a specific liability provision to say who is liable so he will know whether he is required to keep records, render statements, make returns, comply with regulations, whether a lien can be imposed on his property and whether it can be seized for payment of the tax.

Let's look at one example to demonstrate how the law tells us who is liable for a tax.  Section 5001 imposes a tax on distilled spirits. 

"There is hereby imposed on all distilled spirits produced in or imported into the United States a tax at the rate of $13.50 on each proof gallon and a proportionate tax at the like rate on all fractional parts of a proof gallon."  

Notice that this tax is on ALL distilled spirits produced in or imported into the United States. 

Do you have any distilled spirits?  The tax is imposed on ALL distilled spirits, domestic and imported.  ALL would certainly include those in your liquor cabinet.  So where are your distilled spirits records?  Why haven't you been filing a distilled spirits tax return?

Well, before you reach for your nitro pills or your distilled spirits, let's look at Section 5005.  First, notice the title, "Persons Liable for Tax", and then the statute itself, "The distiller or importer of distilled spirits shall be liable for the taxes imposed thereon by section 5001(a)(1)."  Are you a distiller or importer?  No?  Then perhaps that is why even though you have distilled spirits and the tax is imposed on ALL distilled spirits, you are not required to keep records or to file a distilled spirits tax return.  The law clearly imposes a tax on something you have, but it does not make you liable for that tax.

Is this an exceptional or unusual provision?  No.  Every tax in the Internal Revenue Code, with the sole exception of the income tax, has a specific statute stating exactly who is liable for that tax.  Tax on wagers?  Section 4071(a) imposes the tax and subsection (c), entitled "Persons Liable for Tax", tells us exactly who is liable for its payment, "Each person who is engaged in the business of accepting wagers".  Ever gone to a casino or a race track?  Now you know why you are not required to keep wagering records or file a wagering tax return or pay a tax on your wagers.  Wagering Occupational Tax?  See Section 4411.

Tax on petroleum?  Section 4611.  How about this one?  Excise tax on Failure to Satisfy Continuation Coverage Requirements of Group Health Plans.  Is not doing something a taxable activity?  When something does not happen is that a taxable event?  Who knows?  But when it isn't done or doesn't happen Section 4980B, subsection (e), "Liability for Tax", tells us who is liable.  Do you smoke, chew or dip?  Section 5703 makes the manufacturer or importer, not you, liable for the excise tax on tobacco products.

So who does the law say is liable for the income tax?  Who is liable and, therefore, must keep records, render statements, make returns and comply with regulations?  Who can have liens for income tax placed against their property or their property seized for payment of the income tax?

The income tax is imposed by Section 1.  First, let's note the title of the sub-chapter, "Determination of Tax Liability", so wouldn't you expect that some section in this sub-chapter would tell us who is liable for the income tax?  Then note the Part, "Tax on Individuals", which also would suggest that the tax is going to be imposed on someONE, not just someTHING.  Titles and headings are not law, but that would lead one to believe we are at least in the right part of Subtitle A, the income tax law, to expect to see exactly who the law says is liable for that tax.

Now let's take a look at the letter of the law.  Section 1 "Tax imposed" a heading.  Subsection (a) "Married individuals filing jointly and surviving spouses", more heading, and, finally, the statute:

 "There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of [not ON] (1) every married individual (as defined in section 7703) who makes a single return jointly with his spouse under section 6013, and (2) every surviving spouse (as defined in section 2(a)), a tax determined in accordance with the following table: . . ." 

and then it goes on to set out the rates of taxation.  

Section 1(b), same thing, except that the tax is imposed on the taxable income OF heads of households and a different set of rates is provided.  Subsection (c) is on the taxable income OF unmarried individuals, (d) the taxable income OF married individuals filing separately, and, finally, (e) the taxable income OF estates and trusts.  In all those subsections the tax is not imposed on individuals, as the heading suggests, but is on taxable income.  So what is taxed?  Taxable income, that is, income within the meaning of the Constitution and the 16th Amendment that is derived from engaging in an activity that is within the taxing authority of the federal government, is the subject of the tax. 

Now, do you have income?  Does having income make you liable according to Section 1?  Did having distilled spirits make you liable for the tax on ALL distilled spirits?  No.  It takes a statute to do that—a statute like Section 5005.  The problem is that if you were to read all fifty-nine sections of Sub-chapter 1, "Determination of Tax Liability", you will find no statute that says who is liable for the income tax. 

It—is—not—there, at least not in Subchapter 1, "Determination of Liability".  There is a liability provision much later in Subtitle A of the Code, but as we will discover it has no application to the typical working Americans who make up the THM.

What about the rest of Subtitle A?  After all, Subchapter 1, "Determination of Tax Liability", is comprised of only 59 sections.  That is less than 4% of the 1,564 sections that make up the income tax law.  A search of Subtitle A does produce a number of sections that contain the word, "liable", but only one of those actually says who is liable.  (Conduct your own searches of the Code)          

For example, Section 701 designates partners as liable for the taxes on income of a partnership, but only in their "individual capacity".  The problem, however, is that a search, even of the entire IRC, fails to reveal any section that makes anyone liable for the income tax in his "individual capacity".  Another example is Section 704, making certain partnerships liable for excess recapture of credits.  Anything including the typical working American, yet?

Foreign corporations are specifically designated as the party liable for payment of the "Branch profits tax" imposed by Section 884 (which, incidentally, does impose the tax ON "any foreign corporation").

The only party, however, that is clearly and plainly identified in the income tax law as liable for the payment of any income tax is provided in Section 1461:

"Sec. 1461. Liability for withheld tax

      "Every person required to deduct and withhold any tax under this chapter is hereby made liable for such tax and is hereby indemnified against the claims and demands of any person for the amount of any payments made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter." (emphasis added)

Finally, a section that actually clearly and plainly makes someone liable for the tax.  But what chapter is Section 1461 referring to when it says "under this chapter"?  "This chapter" is "Chapter 3 - Withholding Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations"!!   Thus the liable party in this instance is anyone withholding tax on nonresident aliens and foreign corporations.  (It is noteworthy in this regard that while most people are under the impression that a withholding agent is anyone who withholds income taxes, a look at the IRC's definition of a withholding agent tells us that "The term 'withholding agent' means any person required to deduct and withhold any tax under the provisions of section 1441, 1442, 1443, or 1461", Chapter 3, Withholding Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations.)

There are no other provisions in Subtitle A (the income tax law) that clearly identify anyone as being liable for the tax imposed by § 1 other than those required to withhold taxes on foreign corporations and nonresident aliens.  So, are those in the THM being "frivolous" when they conclude that there is no law making the typical working American liable for the income tax?  Are they "defying" or "protesting" a tax or are they relying on the letter of the law?

The big question that has to be at the fore of anyone's mind at this point is "Why isn't there any law making the typical working American liable for the income tax?  Didn't the Sixteenth Amendment authorize Congress to impose an income tax on any and all incomes?  So, why doesn't Congress simply enact a section saying everyone is liable for the income tax?" 

A good question and one worthy of exploration, but perhaps a better question is "Does it matter why?" 

Unless the letter of the law makes one liable, then he is free of the tax.  Look at what the Supreme Court said in U. S. v. Merriam, supra:

"On behalf of the Government it is urged that taxation is a practical matter and concerns itself with the substance of the thing upon which the tax is imposed rather than with legal forms or expressions.  But in statutes levying taxes the literal meaning of the words employed is most important, for such statutes are not to be extended by implication beyond the clear import of the language used.  If the words are doubtful, the doubt must be resolved against the Government and in favor of the taxpayer."  (emphasis added)

The Merriam court goes on to quote Lord Cairns in Partington v. Attorney-General, saying,

"If the person sought to be taxed comes within the letter of the law he must be taxed, however great the hardship may appear to the judicial mind to be. On the other hand, if the Crown, seeking to recover the tax, cannot bring the subject within the letter of the law, the subject is free, however apparently within the spirit of the law the case might otherwise appear to be."             (emphasis added)

In U. S. v. Calamaro, 354 U.S. 351 (1957), the Supreme Court made it clear that the rule of strict construction applies specifically to the question of who is and who is not liable for the payment of a tax, without regard to implication, inference or even legislative intent.  Thus, to suggest that in the absence of a clear and plain statutory imposition of liability one is not liable would seem supported by Supreme Court authorities.

If those in the THM can find no statute making them liable for the income tax, then is there a basis for their belief that they are not liable?  If they can be liable only by the letter of the law and the letter of the law does not clearly and plainly impose liability on them, can they be said to be "frivolous" in their challenging the IRS's attempts to exact payment of the tax from them?

The IRS's Response

This discussion would be less than thorough and less than impartial if the IRS's position on this issue were omitted, so what does the IRS claim?

For decades, the IRS made no claim whatsoever in response to the demands by the THM that it either produce a statute clearly and plainly imposing liability on them for the income tax or that it cease and desist in its attempts to collect from them.  The position of the IRS was to simply call the challenge "frivolous" and to single the "tax protesters" out for retribution, through either administrative bullying or criminal prosecution. 

Although the IRS is the one claiming to be entitled to payment, and, thus, the burden of proof would seem to lie with it to establish a legal right to such, that strategy was effective for many years, primarily because the challenges were all privately made by citizens responding to IRS demands, so they seldom came to the public's attention.

The publicity generated by the stand-off in the Ed and Elaine Brown case in New Hampshire, however, with the "Show Me The Law" signs shown on national television along with interviews in which Ed Brown stated that if the government would show him the law making him liable for the federal income tax he would submit, called the public's attention to the THM's demand that the IRS "show them the law" and put the IRS under some degree of pressure to respond. 

In response to that pressure the IRS has broken its thirty year sulk and is now responding indirectly through its surrogate web sites such as “quatloos” and its “third party” advocates, such as Evans and Siegel, and a claimed "rebuttal" in its "Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments" publication.  Those sources have suddenly surfaced with two provisions they claim impose liability on all working Americans (although none have demonstrated enough confidence in their "statutes" to claim the rewards being offered).

First, the IRS has countered by referring to its own regulations, citing 26 CFR 1.1-1(b), which provides:

“In general, all citizens of the United States, wherever resident, and all resident alien individuals are liable to the income taxes imposed by the Code whether the income is received from sources within or without the United States.”

But how does that argument mesh with what we already know about the Code?  We already know, for example, that according to Section 6001 unless the law makes one LIABLE, Treasury regulations, like 1.1-1(b), do not apply to him.  So under the terms of Section 6001, unless there is a law making us liable, then a regulation that would not apply to us certainly could not do so.

Treasury regulations all fall into one of two categories, legislative and interpretive.  Legislative regulations implement a statutory obligation, defining for the "taxpayer" how, when and where to comply with a duty imposed by the statute.  Legislative regulations are very limited in number and are based upon a specific authorization.

All other regulations, however, are called "interpretive" and represent only the Secretary's spin on what a statute means.  Interpretive regulations do not have the force of law and impose no duties.  Chrysler Corp. v. Brown, 441 U.S. 281 (1979)

Treasury regulation § 1.1-1 is an interpretive regulation and has no binding effect on anyone.  It does not have the force of law and when the IRS contends that its interpretations are "law", binding one to liability for a tax, it is being less than honest.

Neither legislative nor interpretive regulations, however, can exceed the scope or portent of the statute it either implements or interprets, and that includes defining those who are liable for a tax.  U. S. v. Calamaro, 354 U.S. 351 (1957).  See also, Water Quality Ass'n v. United States, 795 F.2d 1303 (7th Cir. 1986), where, citing and quoting Calamaro, the court added:

"It is a basic principle of statutory construction that courts have no right first to determine the legislative intent of a statute and then, under the guise of its interpretation, proceed to either add words to or eliminate other words from the statute's language. DeSoto Securities Co. v. Commissioner, 235 F.2d 409, 411 (7th Cir. 1956); see also 2A Sutherland Statutory Construction § 47.38 (4th ed. 1984). Similarly, the Secretary has no power to change the language of the revenue statutes because he thinks Congress may have overlooked something."        (emphasis added)

1.1-1(b) is, according to the second number, 1, interpretive of Section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and purports to identify those liable for the income tax.  There are problems, however, with the Secretary's non-binding "spin" on Section 1.  First, while 1.1-1(b) purports to identify those liable according to Section 1, Section 1 does not state that anyone is liable for the income tax.  How can an interpretation include something that is not there?  Clearly, this interpretation exceeds the scope and portent of Section 1.  See Calamaro and Water Quality Assn.  Is it possible that the Secretary is attempting "to change the language of the revenue statutes because he thinks Congress may have overlooked something."?  Water Quality Ass'n, supra.

Second, however, is the curious reference to "all citizens of the United States."  That would seem to include everyone born in the good ole US of A, wouldn't it?  "All" is pretty "all"-inclusive, isn't it?  Remember Section 5001's imposition of a tax on all distilled spirits?  But if we look at the very next subsection, 1.1-1(c), we find out that "all" does not include "all", but only "all" those citizens described in subsection (c).  Who is that?  Is it you?

"(c) Who is a citizen. "Every person born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction is a citizen."

Most people believe that the federal jurisdiction extends to anyone and anything in the country, but that is far from correct.  The extent of the federal jurisdiction is set out clearly in the Constitution and the limits of that jurisdiction were very well defined in a 1957 DOJ Report to Congress on the Jurisdiction of the United States government

But for the purposes of this exploration into the IRS's reliance upon 26 CFR § 1.1-1(b) (conveniently overlooking the next subsection that discloses that "all" means only those "subject to its jurisdiction") there are two basic types of federal "jurisdiction", first, exclusive legislative jurisdiction and, second, subject matter jurisdiction.

Exclusive legislative jurisdiction is geographically defined and extends to the District of Columbia and lands acquired by the federal government, with the State's consent, for naval yards, magazines, arsenals and other "needful buildings" over which the State has ceded jurisdiction, called federal "enclaves" (see Article I, Sec. 8, cl. 17) and the territories or possessions (see Article IV, Sec. 3, cl. 2).  So if you live in Washington, DC, or on a federally owned "needful" facility over which the State has ceded jurisdiction to the federal government or in one of the territories, that would make you "subject to its jurisdiction", making you one of "all" the citizens described in the Secretary's spin on Section 1.

The federal government also has jurisdiction, the authority to govern, over certain activities within the States and those are enumerated in the Constitution in Article I, Section 8.  Those include the power to regulate foreign commerce, trade with the tribes, trade with the territories, interstate commerce, the operation of a postal system, including post roads, and other limited powers such as bankruptcy, patents, copyrights, national defense and the coining of money.  All other powers other than those enumerated in Article 1, Section 8, or in the enabling clauses of Amendments 13, 14, 15, 19 and 23, are reserved to the States and to the people (see Amendment X), i.e., excluded from federal jurisdiction. 

Other than those few powers we are governed ONLY by the state governments and ourselves.  In fact, the Supreme Court has held that inside the states, except for in those limited instances listed in the Constitution, it is "as though the Union were not", i.e., did not exist.  Farrington v. Tennessee, 95 U.S. 679 (1877)

Again, if one is engaging in any of those activities over which the federal government has jurisdiction, then he would be "subject to its jurisdiction", making him one of the "all" citizens described in the Secretary's gratuitous spin on Section 1.  If not, however, while he may be a "citizen" for many other purposes, for the purposes of the income tax he is not.

Most Americans would be very surprised to learn that while we live and work in the united States (note the lower case for "united", as used in the title of the Declaration of Independence) we are not all "subject to" the jurisdiction of the (capital "U") United States government.  Only you know where you reside and whether that is in DC, a federal enclave or territory and only you know whether you are engaging in any activity over which the Constitution grants the federal government regulatory authority.  Are you?  Who, then, is among the "all" citizens within the meaning of that term for the purpose of 26 CFR § 1.1-1, the income tax?  Not many of us, and, certainly, not the typical working American.  And that is according to the Secretary's official interpretation of that section.  So, if the IRS's boss, the Secretary of the Treasury, says one is not liable unless he is "subject to [the United States'] jurisdiction", but the IRS says that he is, whom does one believe? 

So, in summarizing, the IRS's position in relying on its own interpretive regulation is patently flawed from every angle:

1. Section 6001 makes it clear that regulations like Section 1.1-1(b) do not apply to anyone that is not liable for a tax imposed by Title 26, the IRC.  To say that a regulation makes one liable, therefore Section 6001 makes the regulation applicable to one, thus making him liable is circuitous nonsense. 

2. Interpretive regulations like Section 1.1-1(b) are not binding and have no force and effect of law, so how can a nonbinding interpretive declaration legally bind one to liability for a tax?  Quite simply, it cannot.

3. Neither interpretive nor legislative regulations can go beyond the scope and import of their underlying statute(s), but interpreting a section (Section 1) as making "all citizens" liable for the income tax when that section makes no one liable exceeds that restriction, making it null and void. Calamaro, Water Quality Ass'n., supra.

4. Finally, the "all"-inclusive scope of 1.1-1(b), "ALL citizens . . . " is illusory, since even having already exceeded the bounds of statutory scope and already exceeding the bounds of non-binding effect, 1.1-1(c) makes it clear that "all" really means "all" of a small portion of the population, those citizens "subject to" the very narrow and limited jurisdiction of the United States government.

Given the IRS’s erroneous reliance on its own regulation, calling its own interpretation of the law to be law, is it surprising that the THM's belief that they are not liable for the income tax is unshaken by this claim?

Second, in its "Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments" the IRS contends:

"The requirement to pay taxes is not voluntary and is clearly set forth in section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code, which imposes a tax on the taxable income of individuals, estates, and trusts as determined by the tables set forth in that section. (Section 11 imposes a tax on the taxable income of corporations.)

"Furthermore, the obligation to pay tax is described in Section 6151, which requires taxpayers to submit payment with their tax returns."

We've already read Section 1 and we already know that section makes no one liable, so this claim, certainly, requires no further discussion.  In fact, in a recent case a motion to dismiss was filed claiming that there is no liability provision applicable to the defendant and, therefore, a tax due and owing, an essential element of the crime charged, is an impossibility.  The government's response did not even mention Section 1, much less contend that it imposed any liability on anyone.  For the IRS to rely on a statute that clearly and plainly makes no one liable is not only disingenuous, it is an insult to the public's intelligence.

The IRS then contends, though, that Section 6151 renders everyone liable for the income tax, but is that correct?  Who does Section 6151 apply to?  Is it you?  Is it the typical working American?  Let's look at that section and see:

Section 6151.  Time and place for paying tax shown on returns

"General rule — Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, when a return of tax is required under this title or regulations, the person required to make such return shall, without assessment or notice and demand from the Secretary, pay such tax to the internal revenue officer with whom the return is filed, and shall pay such tax at the time and place fixed for filing the return (determined without regard to any extension of time for filing the return)." (emphasis added)

Obviously, Section 6151 pertains only to one "required to make such return".  From our discussion of Section 6001 and the IRS's own position disclosed in its Privacy Act Notice, above, we know that the only persons required to file a return are those LIABLE for the tax.  How could Section 6151, then, apply to anyone who the law had not already identified as LIABLE for the income tax, thus requiring him to file an income tax return?  It cannot and it does not.

The circuitous "logic" employed in the IRS's reliance on 26 CFR § 1.1-1(b) is again being used to attempt to strain foreign substance from a section that does not make anyone liable. 

Additionally, Section 6151, like Section 6001, applies to all Title 26 taxes for which a return is required, not merely the income tax.  So why do all the other taxes have clear and specific liability provisions?

The THM believes that since there is no law making the typical working American LIABLE for the income tax the Code does not make them ones "required to make such return", so Section 6151, applicable only to those "required to make such return", cannot and does not apply to the typical working American, a fact admitted by the IRS's omission of the absence of a liability provision among its list of "frivolous arguments".

The THM is not, then, deterred with this response.  They consider this statement by the IRS and its surrogates to be erroneous in that not only does Section 6151 apply only to those whom the law, the IRC, clearly and plainly identifies as liable for the income tax, it is being cited as making someone liable when its only effect is to designate when and where one who is liable and, therefore, required to file a return, must pay the tax.  When and where?  At the time and place fixed for filing the return.

Who Is Liable? Conclusion

Consequently, the THM finds no satisfaction of its quest for a liability provision in either the regulation, Section 1.1-1, or the statute, Section 6151, proffered by the IRS as such.  The THM's immediate and confident response to the IRS's position is that it is false, misleading and clearly "frivolous", without basis or foundation in law. 

An actual reading of Section 1.1-1 ("all" of it, including Subsection (c)) reveals that it bears no weight of law and has no statutory foundation and even the most liberal reading of Section 6151 readily reveals that it does not impose liability on anyone and merely applies to those upon whom liability is already imposed, those "required to make such return", and does no more than its title indicates, stating when and where the liable person is required to pay the tax for which he is LIABLE.

So, again, is it any surprise that the THM's belief that the typical working American is not liable for the income tax is, if anything at all, reinforced by the IRS's reliance on an inapplicable, non-binding, unfounded regulation and a torturously misinterpreted statute?  If that is the best the IRS can come up with, wouldn't the THM be justified in considering the IRS's position an admission that there is no law making them liable?

Whether one agrees or disagrees and whether the THM is or is not correct, the statutory and jurisprudential authorities provide support for and justify the THM's belief that the typical working American is not liable for the income tax, liability for which is imposed only on withholding agents for non-resident aliens and foreign corporations.


This material is not intended to be considered as legal advice, which can only be rendered with a complete knowledge of the facts of each unique case, nor is it intended to advise, recommend or encourage anyone to fail or refuse to file income tax returns or pay income taxes claimed by the Internal Revenue Service.