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Voluntary Movement


Claim:   Payment of U.S. federal income taxes is voluntary.

FALSE

Example:

A great Constitutional expert has researched the evil mechanisms of the IRS and discovered what techniques and principles they use to enforce a tax, which they have declared as voluntary. The tax collectors use a sneaky lawyer trick known as the principle of sub-silentio or "silence condones consent."

Failure to deny is in effect an admission!

The IRS frightens citizens into believing that they must file income tax returns, but officials privately admit it is a "voluntary" tax. It's all a bluff and people pay because they don't realize they have the right to just refuse.
 

Origins:   One of the many arguments put forth by tax protesters is that payment of federal income taxes is "voluntary," a claim based (in part) on the fact that the Internal Revenue Service uses terms such as "voluntary compliance" in describing the federal income tax system. Since that system is "voluntary," the protesters maintain, no one who does not want to pay income tax need do so — anyone who recognizes this fact can simply opt out of paying

Common sense dictates that if paying income tax really were voluntary, that tidbit of information wouldn't be known only to a small cadre of tax protesters while
millions of other Americans annually forked over considerable amounts of money they weren't obligated to pay. Indeed, the specious claim about "voluntary" income tax payment is based upon a misinterpretation of how the IRS uses that word.

When the IRS employs the term "voluntary" in reference to taxes, it uses that word to describe the behavior of the taxpayer, not the tax itself. The U.S. income tax system is not predicated on the federal government's determining how much taxpayers have earned, calculating the amount of taxes they owe, and sending out bills for the amounts due. Instead, it is up to each taxpayer to volunteer his earnings information by filling out and submitting forms documenting his income, to determine on his own how much tax he owes, and to make the appropriate payments. But in a legal sense, neither the obligation to file of tax returns nor to pay taxes owed is voluntary: those requirements are specifically spelled out in Title 26 of the U.S. Code, particularly Section 6151:
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).
Last updated:   14 April 2014

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Sources:

    Block, Sandra.   "Debunking Common Tax Myths."
    USA Today.   6 April 2010.

    Korecki, Natasha.   "Is Paying Income Tax Voluntary?"
    Chicago Sun-Times.   18 July 2006.

    Sanders, Edmund.   "Those Who Believe Paying Income Tax Is Voluntary Are Badly Misinformed."
    Chicago Tribune.   11 September 1998.