More Acknowledgements Of The Truth
I'm sure I don't really need to observe that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is never going to announce to the world that his jig is up-- "Sorry for the inconvenience-- and, can't we all just get along?" For one thing, since the law has always been there for anyone to read, the 'service' really hasn't been doing anything more than letting everyone fool themselves, anyway. So, no direct admissions and apologies will be forthcoming.
However, 'Cracking the Code-...' warriors do receive constant acknowledgements of the truth from both the federal and state governments. The vastly most common form of such acknowledgements is the refund check, of course. Uncomplicated and unambiguous (not to mention one of the nicest things any American ever receives in the mail from any government body), the refund check needs no consideration or explanation.
There is another type of acknowledgement with which a few CtC warriors have been furnished-- a type considerably less pleasant, and a little more complicated, but no less unambiguous. It is the implicit acknowledgement inherent in the careful, deliberate and uniform character of tax agency behavior in those cases in which it has chosen to try to discourage or resist the legal realities invoked and deployed by CtC-educated Americans: evasion.
The most common (and crudest, but perhaps also legally safest) evasion attempted is the "dog ate my homework" line, in which the agency denies ever having received the inconvenient CtC-educated filing, or, even more egregiously, claims to have lost it after receipt. Next in line are the cases in which no effort is made to deny having the filing, but an endless series of "Please be patient, we need more time to process your return" letters. Many examples of both of these ploys can be found posted in the 'Every Which Way But Loose' series (along with examples and discussions of a close cousin of these gimmicks: the carefully-vague and scary-sounding "frivolous" letters, by which a never-clarified-- or even direct-- assertion that a filing qualifies as "frivolous" is used as a pretext for delaying its processing).
Less common by far, but still appearing occasionally, are more daring and subtle evasions involving a deliberate mischaracterization of what has been asserted by the filer. In these cases, faced with a legal reality it desperately wants to dodge or thwart, but is entirely unable to oppose or dispute as it actually is, the tax agency responds as though the inconvenient filing says something that it does not-- that is, the agency responds to something the filing does not assert-- in order to pretend to have disputed the filing.
Having no answer to what the educated filer actually has presented (or, no answer that suits its wishes), the tax agency pretends the filing is something that could suit its wishes. The agency tries to escape its conundrum by behaving like a biased and corrupt judge of an arithmetic contest who responds to a disfavored challenger's claim that 2 + 2 = 4 with, "Nice try Bobby, but I'm afraid that two plus two DOESN'T equal five, and you really should stop saying it does."
This cheap little evasion typically involves disingenuous IRS assertions that a CtC-educated filer has claimed that his or her "wages are not income" (or variations on that theme)-- something none would ever say. The agency just tries to pretend that it didn't hear or understand what the filer actually said: which is that his or her earnings are not "wages" or reflections of taxable activities by any other name (or, more particularly and relevantly, that he or she simply received no "wages" or otherwise-denominated gains from taxable activities). For example:
This ploy is what's known as a "Straw Man Argument". Wikipedia offers a nice summary of this evasion gimmick:
Even though by the back door, so-to-speak, these carefully-inapposite responses obviously and unambiguously confirm the soundness of the filing being evaded, because if what IS being claimed COULD be disputed, it would be. That it is not disputed demonstrates that it cannot be. The judge can't legitimately dispute Bobby, and so must pretend that Bobby said something he really did not, so as to create a pretext for behaving as though the contest turned out the way the judge would prefer. Pretty pathetic, as well as very corrupt, but again, just another acknowledgement of the accuracy of CtC.
As I said above, these more proactive evasions are rare, and increasingly so as time goes on, but a few years ago a new variation on the "you claim that your wages don't constitute income" trope made an appearance in the mailboxes of several CtC warriors which merits a little focused discussion. This version is in the form of a questionnaire, which the recipient is asked to complete and return-- a questionnaire declaring itself to be intended for "individuals who have recently filed return(s) claiming that Internal Revenue Code §§ 3401 and 3121 allow for an exemption of income reported on Forms W-2 and 1099"
I need not point out to any reader of 'Cracking the Code-...' or the Lost Horizons newsletters and other pages on this site that no CtC warrior is likely to have ever claimed that "income" reported on a W-2 or 1099 was "exempted" from anything by virtue of ANY section of the code or the law. What many ARE likely to have done is to have declined to report as "income" something which was not-- an entirely different thing. AND THERE IS NO MISTAKING THIS!
In my own case, for instance, I have filled in Forms 4852 Substitute for W-2 by putting, on the line for the amount of "wages" received: -$0.00-. Not "XXX.XX, but I believe that it is exempted from tax under blah, blah, blah," as the language in this questionnaire would like to suggest is the case, but simply -$0.00-. (See here, here, here and here, as well, and the scores of other complete filings that have been sent in for posting along with the victories they produced.)
My 1040s, which are only type of form that I file on which exemptions, if any, could actually be claimed, include no exemptions of any "wage" amounts at all. And indeed, how could they? No "wages" were received, so there is nothing to 'exempt'-- even if I believed, for some reason, that there IS a provision (that might apply to me) under which "wages" could be exempted .
Thus, what we have here is actually another trenchant acknowledgement by the federal government of the soundness of filings such as mine. IF THE GOVERNMENT COULD ACTUALLY DISPUTE SUCH FILINGS, IT WOULD FORTHRIGHTLY DO SO. It does not do so, and thereby admits that it cannot, even if only in as devious a fashion as it can contrive.
The simple and obvious purpose of this 'questionnaire' is not to sincerely dispute a filing, but rather, to intimidate and mislead. Like all of its kind, it invites the recipient to entertain the suspicion that what they have done is actually what the questionnaire's authors suggest that they have, or to fear that they will be burdened with explaining how that is not so unless they meekly abandon their claim.
Doubtless its authors also hope that their deliberate efforts to evade the federal revenue laws, by failing to make refunds as they are obliged to do, will be forgiven as a misunderstanding when they are called to account for it. I believe each of these purposes will fail, and, though I'd rather it didn't go to this much trouble, I suppose I must thank the IRS for once again demonstrating that what is explained about the law in 'Cracking the Code- The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America' is nothing but the truth.
(And if I should happen to get one of these 'questionnaires' myself, I'll owe the 'service' yet another thank you-- for the free bird cage liner. I certainly wouldn't respond to the thing-- to do so might be taken as an agreement that I am a filer of the sort to whom the 'questionnaire' is directed.
The fact is, I have already made clear that this 'questionnaire' does not apply to me, by means of my filed return. Furthermore, not only do these 'questionnaires' not even purport to be "required", but they also do not constitute the sort of "reasonable requests for information" that the Secretary of the Treasury is statutorily entitled to make for certain purposes and under certain circumstances, such as those specified at 26 USC 6201(d).
Such "reasonable requests" must directly relate to claims, deductions, etc. which actually WERE made on a return, and then only from an accountancy standpoint. Under no circumstances can the Secretary or his delegates make a "reasonable request" regarding what a filer may have been reading lately, the particulars of his or her views on the law, or anything else appearing on this 'questionnaire'.)