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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Federal Income Tax: Legal Analysis of Frequently Asked Questions

John R. Luckey
Legislative Attorney

This report addresses some of the commonly raised historical, constitutional, procedural, and legal questions concerning the federal income tax.

The constitutional questions include a discussion of: Congress’s taxing power; the difference between a direct and an indirect tax; Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and tax returns; Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and tax collection practices; Thirteenth Amendment protections against involuntary servitude and tax withholding; Equal Protection and Due Process questions; and the legality of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment.

Other questions addressed include whether title 26 of the United States Code is positive law; the taxability of wages; the voluntary or involuntary nature of the income tax; what is meant by the income tax “being in the nature of an excise tax;” when was the Internal Revenue Service established; the authority of the Internal Revenue Service to operate outside of the District of Columbia; what is meant by the term United States or United States citizen in the context of the Internal Revenue Code; what is the “Liberty Amendment;” the use of the revenues raised through the federal tax on telephone usage; taxation without representation; the repeal of the original withholding act; and the frivolous tax return penalty.

Date of Report: January 20, 2011
Number of Pages: 32
Order Number: 97-59
Price: $29.95

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