Friday, February 01, 2008
Wesley Snipes Outed as Member of the 'Tax Denial' Movement
Actor Wesley Snipes has vanquished the un-dead, faced down the Yakuza and was cleared of two felony fraud and conspiracy charges and three misdemeanor charges for failing to file returns or pay taxes. He will face the gavel for three more misdemeanor tax charges.
In a series of reportedly rambling letters defining his position, Snipes claimed, among other things that he is a "nontaxpayer" by law.
An article posted by David Cay Johnston on the nytimes.com Website listed some details of arguments included by Snipes in a 600-page document he submitted to the court, including a rather interesting defense that is apparently common to tax deniers, Johnston wrote:
"Mr. Snipes also complained that the I.R.S. violated his 14th Amendment rights to equal protection because it would not help him establish what he said was his rightful status as a legal nontaxpayer."
I went to the Times site and checked out the PDF text of Snipes' anti-tax defense. All I can say is that I can see where the US Attorney in the case dismissed the actor's massive document as "gibberish". It's extensive, meticulous in detail and ALL of 600 pages; a law degree or familiarity with the intricacies of the US Tax Code would be helpful.
I've heard of anti-government movements, "patriots", KKK, evolved weekend warrior types who brandish the Constitution and Bible in one hand and a really big hand gun in the other. But this was the first time I ever heard of a movement of Americans who actually believe that the IRS collects income tax illegally by manipulating Americans with the fine print of the tax laws.
Apparently we've all been "bamboozled" into paying income tax since it was enacted by the Federal Government, which, to them, is in itself an evil institution. Anywayyyyy...
Seriously though, who wouldn't want to pay less or even NO taxes? But I'm not sure where I stand on the tax denial movement. Check it out for yourself, here's a link to a site that gives you somewhat of a feel for the thinking behind the those who feel they don't owe Uncle Sam a dime.
In my limited experience, movements such as this one inevitably attract the same type of mindset that is sympathetic with theories supporting racial superiority, divisive, antiquated thinking and belief in a God who apparently populated the planet with a whole bunch of people he didn't really like.
Whatever works for you Wes.