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Joseph R. "Joe" Banister

Monday, February 23, 2004

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Dear Friends:

The Salt Lake Tribune appears to be assisting the IRS in the agency’s annual tax season fear-mongering.

Read the article here.

There were some points in the article that I took special notice of. For example, a Salt Lake City CPA who spent 26 years at the IRS said “There are a tremendous number of people out there who aren't even filing returns,".

I find it interesting that she would be quoted as using the words “tremendous number”. Could it be that a “tremendous number” number of people are learning that the IRS has been lying to them all these years?

Later in the article, Mr. Everson compared the need for enforcement to the need for police officers on a highway. He said, "On a highway, you need to have clear signs that you can't go more than 65 mph," he said. "But you still need the trooper under the bridge, pulling over people who are doing 85 or 90."

Right you are, Mr. Everson, but at least the trooper under the bridge can point out to any speeder where in the vehicle code the requirement to abide by a certain speed limit is found. Why has your agency been so suspiciously reticent to inform the citizenry where such requirements reside in your code book (and have instead chosen to answer our questions through enforcement rather than dialogue)?


Unfortunately, and very suspiciously, the IRS chooses to dodge simple questions about the federal income tax, such as: 1. What is the definition of the word Income as used in the Internal Revenue code? Please cite the source of authority? 2. Is the Income tax a Direct tax or Indirect tax? 3. What statute makes me liable for the Individual Income Tax? (Please cite statute and corresponding regulation). 4.What form is required by law to pay the Individual Income tax and where does the law say that? (Please cite statute and regulation). ( Questions courtesy of www.rraymond.org )


I’d be happy to share Mr. Everson’s answers with a few million of my friends and then together we could reduce the “tremendous number” of people who are not filing. Given tight local, state, and federal government budgets, and a citizenry that already pays significant sums of tax, I personally think answering simple questions posed by millions of Americans is much more efficient and cost-effective than trying to scare people into obeying edicts from an agency famous for leg-breaking tactics. But, strangely, the IRS, supposedly existing to serve US, always reaches for the club rather than reach for a chair at the discussion table. If my dog bit me each morning when I went out to feed him, I would stop feeding him and find him a new home.


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