Have You Been Harassed By "Frivolous" Threats?
Don't stand for it; it's time for some suing.
CtC FIRST BEGAN LIBERATING AMERICANS from the scourge of the misapplied "income" tax (aka the "ignorance tax") in 2003. Over all the years since, the beneficiaries of the status quo have been trying various things to suppress the spread of the book's information and to discourage claims made in light of that information.
One of the longest-running ploys has been subjecting a scattershot smattering of CtC-educated filers to scary-looking threats of a "frivolous return penalty" (FRP). The scamsters' hopes have always been that these threats will be mistaken as some kind of official dispute of the accuracy of the book's info, or at least will prompt rumors that the government pushes back against educated filings, which will discourage the timid from standing up for their rights and the rule of law.
These threats are often very overtly phony. Sometimes they arrive in the mailbox on the same day as the complete refund claimed by the filing being called "frivolous". Sometimes a single filing will be the pretext for a dozen of these FRP assertions, as though the button on the "scary-letter" machine got held down too long. (Those interested can find an expose of an elaborate IRS hoax concerning FRPs and CtC-educated filings here, and some in-depth discussion of the actual FRP provisions here. Find a discussion of a case in which the IRS and an OCC attorney produced false documents in an attempted cover-up of the hoax here.)
DESPITE THEIR LEGAL PHONINESS, FRP threats have done a lot of harm. They DO lead to rumors which have kept some folks who otherwise would have from even cracking open a book and learning the truth about the tax, and why it's so important. They HAVE disturbed the peace and quiet of those to whom they have been directed, and forced those folks into a tedious routine of writing and expensively-mailing responses.
A few educated filers have even had a portion of a complete refund dinged with a holdback of an asserted FRP liability.
In all cases these FRP threats amount to First Amendment assaults. All of them-- regardless of how specious-- involve government threats of harm unless the target repudiates his or her freely-made return testimony and replaces it with testimony more to the government's liking (for which a 30-day window is typically provided).
In short, these threats are outrageous and illegal. So...
I THINK IT'S TIME for a class-action or multi-plaintiff lawsuit. I'm not a litigator, and can't say from experience what kind of relief could be sought. But I know that some kind of substantial relief is called for here, and I can certainly equip an experienced litigator with all the needed understanding of the law regarding FRPs and everything else that would be involved in such a suit.
Therefore I want to invite anyone out there who had been the recipient of "frivolous penalty" threats to take a couple of simple steps toward qualifying for the class. First, secure documentation of the agency bad behavior through FOIA requests for relevant internal records. A package of sample requests with the relevant materials listed can be found here.
Second, send me scans of the documents yielded-up from the requests and the filings that purportedly prompted the documented threats, along with the threat-notices themselves. Follow the formatting guidelines found here. Presuming that at least a few dozen folks send in proper educated filings along with documentation of the actual appearance of the bogus threats in the official records, in all their hoaxy and statute-defying ugliness, a suit will be organized and we'll see what can be done.
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them, and these will continue till they have been resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress."