Is it true that if you don't pay income tax for your first job, you are off the hook?

My late uncle was a self-employed salesman for a company that manufactured tires for heavy equipment. Also, he was slightly off his nut. He believed simply that the IRS had no right to exist and that the federal tax code was inherently unconstitutional and therefore illegal. When the IRS came calling, he told 'em to go to hell.

He was in and out of court until he died (representing himself – he also hated lawyers), but he never went to jail. 'Course, the nice folks at the IRS attached everything he owned and took every dime he had.

NEVER underestimate the power and determination of the Internal Revenue Service! AFAIK, it is the only entity in the U.S. that can and will take your money right out of your bank account without as much as notifying you.

Not quite right. The IRS is required to notify you before it takes your money. In practice, at least two certified letters go out before any levy. Confusion arises because, just as in service by certified mail in civil suits, there is no requirement that the addressee receive the notice. If it goes back to IRS because you weren’t home and couldn’t get to the post office to pick up the letter, you have still been “notified”. It could be worse; the law could allow service by publication, as in divorce cases.

The Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 added another level of due process protection. A taxpayer has 30 days from notice of levy to ask for a collection due process hearing. Most banks will notify an account holder of an IRS levy within a week of receipt, so he has plenty of time to request a hearing. The main purpose of the hearing seems to be to convince Uncle Sam that he’d be better off letting you pay by the month instead of trying to guess when you’ve got money in the bank.

I’m not certain that this is correct. I’ve always believed that you were required to file a tax return even if you owed no taxes. I work for a non profit corporation. We pay zero in federal, state taxes and yet we’re required to file a tax return every year. As a matter of fact they thought I’d filed it late, (we’d filed for an extension), and attempted to charge us penalties and interest on the penalties to the tune of over a grand (for being about a month ‘late’ but we weren’t)… anyhow. I’d check into this if I were you.

… I wanted to tell you about this in my earlier post, but it’s one of those “a friend of mine…” things, so I do not have first-hand knowledge - only what she told me.

Anyway, what she says is that she followed the advice in the Meredith books and now she has to pay 0 in fed or state tax. She works with me and I guess I could have asked to see her pay stubs, but as I said, we have to work together.

Apparently what she did was notify the IRS of her intention to challenge the tax, and this then put the whole thing in motion with letters being written back and forth until some kind of a deadline was ignored by the IRS and she finally wrote them again, in essence stating that they had “defaulted” because they had not answered the latest letter she had written within 60 days, and so now she pays no tax and in addition has asked for the return of the money sha paid in for the last three years.

Please don’t misunderstand the tone of this or my other post. I am not advocating that anyone refuse to pay their taxes. I just want to know if anyone has ever sucessfully avoided it by using the method I just described or any other method other than being a church or non-profit organization.


OK, let me give the source for this, and yes, I’m afraid it’s one of those “friend of mine” things…

I was once a business partner of a fellow, we’ll call him ‘Mark,’ who had a few horror stories to tell about the IRS. Mark’s ordeal revolved around the agency’s allegation that Mark had failed to file estimated tax returns and payments (he was a self-employed contractor at the time). The battle had been raging for some time, but Mark had employed an accountant to handle it all, and expected that the accountant would take care of the IRS.

Here is what Mark told me happened. Without notifying him, the IRS seized every penny in his business checking account – around $10,000 – and at the same time instructed his bank NOT to notify Mark that it had done so. Further, the IRS instructed the bank to notify the agency immediately if and when further deposits were made, so that they too could be taken. The IRS did permit the bank to tell Mark about the confiscation if and only if Mark himself inquired with the bank as to the whereabouts of his funds. According to Mark, the first he knew of any of this was when checks he wrote to suppliers began bouncing left and right. Within a few weeks, without capital, his small contracting business collapsed and he filed for bankruptcy protection.

AGAIN, this is what was told to me by a friend of mine, a guy I worked with side by side for years. The whole thing took place in the late seventies. I have since lost contact with Mark, so verifying the details would be a problem.

For what it’s worth…