I don’t like Snipes, but he got railroaded. This was a high profile in-terrorem case by the IRS: Burn a star so us plebes stay scared and toe the line.
I know several people whose businesses tanked and they missed years of tax returns. Got back on their feet, filed, and went on payment plans. No charges.
But they were little people who owed thousands, so burning them wouldn’t have made news.
This is just an object lesson for us little people. And to be blunt, it sucks because it works...
“I dont like Snipes, but he got railroaded. This was a high profile in-terrorem case by the IRS: Burn a star so us plebes stay scared and toe the line.”
Respectfully disagree. I don’t like or dislike Snipes or care one way or another. My understanding is that he (perhaps under the direction of his “activist” CPA) withheld taxes and returns under some theory (whose details I do not know) but it was among those very specific clusters of theories that readily qualify under long established rulings for filing “frivolous returns”. Love them or hate them, the IRS makes it crystal clear that they will take a very dim view of this, and there is no uncertainty about it.
Eg; “it wasn’t income because it was really a trade, my work for the money.”
“The senate never ratified the 16th amendment so I don’t owe you anything”
[second paragraph of the Decl of Independence] “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain **unalienable** Rights...
pronouncing the word unalienable as “unaleenable” supposedly meaning that no liens can be placed upon ones’ rights, meaning that the government cannot charge money under threat of penalty or seizure of property in the event of non-payment of taxes.
Etc. There are enhanced penalties for filing what the IRS views as frivolous returns, and WS walked right into the front door of this. This is all spelled out in painful detail in a mere half dozen or so pages not so much of or in regulations but in anecdotes, right in front of the IRS site.
Until very recently, the IRS would work with most taxpayers and compromise and etc; etc; They are quite a bit more predatory in recent years from what I understand. But if you thumb your nose at them, they do not and have not taken it lightly for a very long time. I believe Peter Schiff’s father was an early “victim” of his own private taxation theories/treatments, and the IRS cleaned his clock.