Kernan v. IRS, T.C. Memo 2014-228 (Nov. 3, 2014).
Tax denier cases (i.e. the IRS has no authority over me, so I’m not paying taxes) are entertaining for attorneys because of the crazy antics such litigants (often pro-se) pull. Monday's Kernan v. IRS, T.C. Memo 2014-228 (Nov. 3, 2014) is one such case in which the petitioner refused to pay taxes, citing IRC Sec. 6001 language which, to his credit, makes it sound like the IRS needs to serve notice of annual 1040 filing requirements before taxes are due from taxpayers. But any case in which a litigant refuses to obey even the court’s word limit stipulations is probably not going to go well for him. Mr. Kernan’s briefs were struck because he obliterated the 75 page limit despite agreeing to it before the judge. He prevented his own “novel” arguments from even being before the court.
Also notable from this case:
"Judges impose page limits for a reason. They force parties to hone their arguments and to state those arguments succinctly. Page limits cause, or should cause, parties to dispense with arguments of little or no merit in favor of those arguments that have a better chance of carrying the day. They encourage parties to avoid redundancy. And repetition.
"Parties often are quite creative in their efforts to circumvent page limits. Among the most blatant methods is to put material into an appendix and to not count that appendix as falling within the page limits. Another is to incorporate another document by reference. . . . "
Salzer v. IRS, T.C. Memo 2014-188 (Sept. 16, 2014).
Every once in a while, a taxpayer decides not to pay taxes because they do not agree with the current administration/government and they do not want to support it. In case there was any doubt, doing so and then deriding the government before the Tax Court (a part of the government) has yet again been established as a losing litigation strategy. Salzer v. IRS, T.C. Memo 2014-188 (Sept. 16, 2014). The Tax Court was kind enough to reproduce Mr. Salzer’s tirade at length:
“We are citizens of the United States of America. We have paid taxes to what we thought was the United States of America. Apparently through the years, socialism has taken control of this country without us being aware of it. In 2008, George W. Bush asked the American people to accept socialism and Barak [sic] Obama has plowed straight ahead with tons more. We resoundingly reject it which is shown in our not having submitted a tax form for 2008 or 2009 and will not be doing so for 2010. We support the United States of America, the republic, the Christian nation; we do not support this socialist government that has hijacked Washington DC. God has said “Blessed is that country whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12) This government has shown nothing but malice toward the American people, has attacked our soldiers and veterans in various ways, has attacked our children at the public schools by trying to push wrong beliefs-- contrary to the Bible-- to them, has sexually assaulted our people at the airports in the name of security, is killing the unborn, has taken over car companies, have taken control of the banks, taking over our health care and sold us to China. We know what socialism is. Socialism is not “just another economic theory”. There is no good kind of socialism. It is an anti-Christian, anti-American and against the U.S. Constitution. It is about trying to control people and deprive them of what they need. Because of it, millions of people have died. We reject this whole heartedly. We do not want this happening to the people of this country or anywhere. This needs to stop now.
"We support the true United States of America. Once we get it back, we will submit our tax forms to it. In fact, we will be making every effort to be the first in line. It should be quite clear from our records that before these problems, we have always filed on time and correctly. But, until our government is returned, we will not submit your forms.”
Id. at pp. 4-5.
Irrespective of how you feel about the rhetoric, this is an example of what not to do before the Tax Court. Note, this is a "Memorandum" Opinion, which means the principles of law governing the outcome of this case were so well-established, the Court merely had to apply them as written to reach a conclusion. No new law or even an interpretation of old law was required to reach the conclusion in this case based on the arguments presented--not the litigating position one should aim for.
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