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(Yahoo)   Man who claims that tax paying is voluntary ordered by judge to stop selling his book and giving seminars   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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49 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Mar 2003 at 12:06 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

102 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-03-20 07:37:09 PM  
D'ya 'spose he also believes that sex in prison is voluntary?
2003-03-20 08:08:12 PM  
If he is selling books and, presumably, being compensated for giving seminars, I wonder what mechanisms he employs to avoid paying taxes. Or does he "voluntarily" pay his, while telling people it is voluntary?

He has a point on the free speech thing, so maybe they ought to pursue him for violating truth in advertising laws.
2003-03-20 08:12:30 PM  
I heard that the Dixie Chicks are proud of him.
2003-03-20 08:38:13 PM  
Technically taxes are voluntary. You have the choice to make money or not. So if you choose to not make money you also choose to not pay taxes.
2003-03-20 08:44:25 PM  
Regardless, this is a violation of his 1st admentment rights. You have the right to say whatever stupid shiat you want to. PERIOD.
2003-03-20 08:45:44 PM  
I amend with the obvious FIRE exception : \ Caveat emptor (or whatever)
2003-03-20 08:47:58 PM  
Can't they keep him from saying fraudulent things? I thought that fraud, slander, fire in the theater(unless the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire), and national security were the exceptions to the 1st Amendment.
2003-03-20 08:59:54 PM  
When you can't make an honest buck deceiving fools, the terrorists have won.
2003-03-20 09:05:03 PM  
M1ah, old joke but, why not? Is it okay to yell "Movie! in a crowded firehouse?

/seeker of clarity
2003-03-20 09:07:18 PM  
Only if the movie is Backdraft.
2003-03-20 09:08:14 PM  
Unless I am mistaken, there is no law against yelling "fire" in a theater. If someone gets hurt because you did, you can get in trouble tho'. (Pickin' nits)
2003-03-20 09:11:57 PM  
Your speech can also be curtailed for inciting a riot. I think that's what the fire in a crowded theater falls under.
2003-03-20 09:19:42 PM  
It is voluntary if you enjoy going to jail. Gosh, dosent this judge know anything?
2003-03-20 09:21:52 PM  
F-14Tomkitty, the yelling "fire" in a theater is a colloquial rule of thumb, as it were. Free speech is a given, except to the extent that your free speech cannot infringe on the rights of others. By clearing out a movie house, you have infringed on the rights of others, unless there was a fire. Incitement to riot is the reference point. Free speech notwithstanding, you do not have the right to incite a riot, because that infringes on peoples' rights to not have to endure a riot.
2003-03-20 09:23:42 PM  
Or what Thales said.
2003-03-20 10:34:06 PM  
2003-03-21 12:09:14 AM  
I read his book and I haven't paid taxes for the past 8 years! It's great! The secret is... hold on a minute, there's someone at the door...

<prison sentence>
2003-03-21 12:13:11 AM  
Of course paying taxes is voluntary. And you can kill anyone you want too.

Of course, just because you can choose to do something doesn't mean it's legal.
2003-03-21 12:13:59 AM  
Tax evaders will now be "Schiff-less" people.
2003-03-21 12:15:58 AM  
"Let us redefine "progress" to say, just because you CAN do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that you MUST do that thing."

2003-03-21 12:16:06 AM  
The cases of people following his advice are starting to show up at the Tax Court now... and getting mowed down in droves. Thanks for coming, judgment rendered in favor of the IRS, and here's your extra several-thousand-dollar fine for spouting gibberish and completely wasting everyone's time. Have a nice day.

The Tax Protester FAQ is another great place to go to read about why Schiff's arguments suck.
2003-03-21 12:23:10 AM  
Oh shiat, you mean I was supposed to be paying my taxes all this time? Oh crap!!
2003-03-21 12:23:24 AM  
Wow. That site linked to at is quite a piece of work too.

"There Have Been Many Challenges to the Constitutionality of the Federal Income Tax in the Past, But None on the Basis Presented Here." Well, sir, that's probably because your idea is so blatantly silly that even your fellow tax protestors can't manage to get through it without giggling.
2003-03-21 12:24:55 AM  
good thing i was too lazy to try his zero tax stunt. I just got a kick arse tax preparer, that saved me enough to keep me happy. I used turbo tax for years, and man was it screwing me over and making me overpay.
2003-03-21 12:25:49 AM  
And yet they permit people to sell books on how to make drugs, and bombs. The First Ammendment surrenders.
2003-03-21 12:28:17 AM  
i have to agree with M1ah, he has the right to free speech and charge people if he chooses, look at the amount of people that actually attempted this to how much they attempted to evade, obviously money cannot buy inteligence
2003-03-21 12:28:56 AM  
im not illiterate im tired
2003-03-21 12:30:23 AM  
But, if you allow him to do this you have to allow people to call up senile old ladies and tell them they've won a trip to Disneyland, if they just pay the $50 "prize collection fee."

Either way you're directly lying to a person to take advantage of their stupidity for your monetary gain.
2003-03-21 12:35:18 AM  
Geee.... the First amemdment starts out... "Congrees shall make No laws..."

But sadly, this judge's actions don't surprise me. We as a nation are NO longer free. It's time for all of you to realize that and maybe even be bothered by it (yeah imagine that - maybe THINK about what is happening to a once great nation?) Or will that only happen when some judge decides to ban beer?
2003-03-21 12:36:09 AM  
Richiep that's happened once before. Ended up being pretty ugly. Doubt they'll make the same mistake again.
2003-03-21 12:36:53 AM  
And anyway, there are still dry counties around.
2003-03-21 12:37:04 AM  
there is no free speach problem with the judge's order.
2003-03-21 12:43:12 AM  
Sidi: Schiff apparently practices what he preaches though, and has done the jail time to prove it. In my opinion, that makes him more like an honest nutcase than a spammer. He's not trying to defraud anyone, it's just that what he says is completly untrue.
2003-03-21 12:44:18 AM  
First Amendment? Bullshiat. This guy is either advocating illegal acts or engaging in false advertising, neither of which is protected by the first amendment.
2003-03-21 12:44:19 AM  
That is true. There is a difference in that fact.

Or it could all be a cover. Be ready to do a couple months jail time to make millions off of suckers.
2003-03-21 12:45:49 AM  

I don't want to insult you but please... THINK about the comparison you just made. You are comparing someone writing a book and a con game. Anyone can publish anything in a book and people can buy it - didn't you ever here of the word "fiction".

Irwin Shiff makes money buy you buying his book, or attending his seminars - he DOESN'T"T profit from you not paying a tax.

In a free country a person has a right to an opinion and to publish that opinion and offer it for sale to other people. A person doesn't have the right to deceive someone out of money based on misrepresentation.

Schiff WOULD be guilty of that if he did something like, run an ad saying send me $40 and I'll send you my book and tape, and then he takes your money and never sends you the book or tape.
2003-03-21 12:48:28 AM  
I don't think "free speech" extends to your right to sell a book. Especially with the current Supreme Court...
2003-03-21 12:51:53 AM  

He's saying if you pay me whatever the cost of the book is, or whatever the cost of the seminar is, he will tell you how to not pay your income taxes. Then he fails to deliver on that promise, because he doesn't help his clients avoid those taxes.

If I offered to sell you a book on a particular subject, you paid me $40, and I gave you two blank pieces of paper stapled together you would probably be claiming it's fraud.
2003-03-21 12:58:57 AM  
I'm taking Advanced Tax at law school with a prof who worked for the IRS. I just want to warn y'all...don't fark with The Service. Every presumption is in their favor. But if you don't make $100,000+ you're pretty safe from audits.

And by the way, government employees think every dollar you make belongs to them, unless you can justify otherwise. You've been warned.
2003-03-21 01:00:14 AM  
He is publishing things that encourages individuals to break the law. Isnt that illegal?
2003-03-21 01:07:21 AM  
TheFarmer: Isn't that Illegal?
What are you smokin'? Shredded issues of High Times?
2003-03-21 01:07:50 AM  
How is this an issue? Advocating illegal activities is NOT protected in this country. This guy is telling people not to pay their non-optional taxes. If I read the article correctly, Schiff caused $47 mill worth of taxes to go unfiled. That's a pretty hefty sum. I'm surprised they aren't just arresting him.
2003-03-21 01:08:03 AM  
Every april we get these scare-tactic stories in the news... the gov knows lots of people don;t pay nuthin. some of them rely on schiff and some of them just don't give a fark. schiff's arguments are pretty interesting...

i pay lots and lots
2003-03-21 01:13:11 AM  

Lets you sold me a book on say, "how to sign up for total fark for free" and you sent me that two blank pages, have you committed a crime?


But could I sue you in civil court saying you deceived me and I wanted my money back?


AND... If the government recieved a lot of comnplaints from consumers that you are decieving them, they could take action, under comsumer protection laws. But that is not what this judge is doing.

He is asaying that Schiff can not publish a book saying that IN HIS OPINION, if you do what he says, you can not pay any taxes.

If you don't believe me, just go to a Barnes an Noble, and take a look at the self improvement section. There are a ton of books filled with advise, do all of them work? There are books on how I can bring happiness by praying, should a judge ban that because I might have prayed and I got sad? Or how about the classic books on how to pick up women, maybe some nerd that struck out after reading one of those can get this judge to ban them.
2003-03-21 01:17:05 AM  
"Technically taxes are voluntary. You have the choice to make money or not. So if you choose to not make money you also choose to not pay taxes."

Hey that's true isn't it. So all you have to do is barter. No cash = no income.

You might be able to get away with that out in farm country. But the problem is the government taxes you on any land you own. So you cannot own land if you only barter.

Also another problem I think is that the government considers items to be part of your income somehow. For example, I don't think you can accept a car worth $50,000 without paying taxes on it.

Just another way the government interferes with people's lives. You can't trade services for a house cause the government will say you owe them taxes on it and take it away from you even if you have no money and have never earned a dime.

That's real freedom right there.
2003-03-21 01:18:16 AM  
Are you sure that not paying taxes is a crime? Or just a civil offense? Is it a crime to urge someone in writing to commit a tort?

Schiff has said over and over that there is nothing in the criminal code that says not paying taxes is a crime.

I dunno if he's right. I don;t have time to read the criminal codes. I have a war to watch...
2003-03-21 01:19:08 AM  
That's true. There's a lot of new age bullshiat out there too. Faith healing, weird quartz crystal god-beings, cannibalistic zombie-worshipping cults...

You may be right that bankrupting him in civil court might be the better way to go.
2003-03-21 01:25:55 AM  
Triumph... yeah, something similar to that... :)
2003-03-21 01:31:24 AM  
Gdoodle: According to the Tax Protestor FAQ Kickaha Ota linked to, it is purely a civil matter. From the section dealing with the 5th ammendment: "[...] collecting taxes is a civil proceeding, not a criminal proceeding."

So as I see it, he's not inciting anyone to perform any criminal action. I don't think there are any statues dealing with incitement to commit tort, therefore he should be able to publish his book.

If, on the other hand, he's being prosecuted because the government believes it's illegal to promise something you can't deliver in return for money, even if you believe you can deliver it, I wonder if it would then become possible for athiests to sue churches they had previously attended to recover any tithes they may have payed.
2003-03-21 01:31:57 AM  
I lived in Las Vegas for quite a while, and I used to get quite a kick out of this guy. I'd be driving around town and see a big group of mostly middle aged or retired people holding signs saying "URGENT!!! TUNE YOUR RADIO TO AM1100" (I forget exactly the station, but you get the point.

If you tuned it in, and I'm sure tons of people did the FIRST time they saw the was Schiff talking about tax evasion, and all of his and his followers' "success stories".

It was quite something to behold. Just like a cult, except lots of comb-overs and leisure suits.

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