When Irwin Schiff passed away, the tax protestors lost a valuable asset. Schiff is widely regarded as one of the founding members of the tax protester movement. Schiff spent years protesting the current tax system and pushing for income taxes to be treated as voluntary rather than mandatory.
One of the examples that was famously given whenever the issue of voluntary and mandatory comes up with regards to paying taxes is the military. For the most part, enlisting is something each person is allowed to do under their own free will and the only time this changes is when the government invokes the draft at which point young men are forced to enlist, no matter what.
Schiff was famous for writing a book that discussed the issue. He once said, “Each year American taxpayers voluntarily file their tax returns and make a special effort to pay the taxes they owe”. However, Schiff believed Americans should have the option to refuse to pay taxes. The contents of his book were so strong that the IRS took steps to get a permanent restraining order, which made the sale of Schiff’s book impossible.
Schiff never had any reservations about whether or not he should be required to pay income tax. The problem he ran into was that while his beliefs were popular with the public, they didn’t hold up well in court, which is why he eventually died in a US prison.
Experts in both history and tax law feel that the confusion about whether or not paying income tax should be voluntary stems back to a time when the IRS was still a small agency with a very limited amount of resources. The best they could do was hope that people would pay taxes. Now that the agency has grown in size and it possesses the ability to track down and prosecute those who fail to pay their taxes, paying individual income tax has become compulsory.
Whether you’re like Schiff or are simply someone who has fallen a few years behind on filing taxes, don’t assume that the IRS won’t ever catch up with you. It’s estimated that 43% of American citizens don’t pay their taxes each year. Sooner or later, the IRS will start to crack down on this type of behavior. The best way to make sure you avoid following in Schiff’s footsteps and dying in prison is contacting an IRS tax attorney right away.
The sooner you contact an IRS tax attorney, the sooner they can help you file the necessary paperwork so that the IRS gets your tax papers on record which is an important first step if you want to avoid prosecution. The second thing the IRS tax attorney does is work to come up with a settlement that allows you to pay your tax debt off in a timely manner that doesn’t put a major strain on your finances and lifestyle. If you have unfiled tax returns or have unpaid tax bills from previous years, don’t wait for an IRS agent to knock on your door. Contact an IRS tax attorney today and get the matter settled.