What Law Requires Us To Pay Taxes?

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1040 Tax FormsHardly a week goes by when someone doesn’t discover my page on IRS tax brackets and leaves a comment about how there is no law requiring us to pay income taxes. Every once and a while, you hear a story about someone refusing to pay their taxes and getting locked up and penalized for it. Case in point, just last month a couple in New York were convicted, between them, of seven felony counts (5 counts of tax evasion and 2 counts of conspiring to defraud the government).

You are legally required to pay income tax. To argue otherwise is at best a political statement (which I think is fine, it’s our First Amendment right) and at worst a one way trip to the slammer.

Want to know which law requires it? Read on.

Internal Revenue Code

Tax law itself is codified in the Internal Revenue Code, which is known as Title 26 in the United States Code. The United States Code, as defined by the Government Printing Office, is the codification of general and permanent laws of the United States. It’s divided into fifty “titles” (or volumes) and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives every six years, with supplements being made available between editions. In layman’s terms, the United States Code is the collection of laws passed by the legislature and signed by the executive – the Code is law.

Title 26 covers the Internal Revenue Code. The Code itself is a collection of laws that were passed by Congress and bits and amendments were passed through the years. When people talk about AMT reform, they’re talking about passing amendments to adjust who gets affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Which part of the Internal Revenue Code requires us the pay taxes? Section 1 (26 U.S.C. § 1), it states:

There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of every individual … who is not a married individual a tax determined in accordance with the following table ….

There you have it, right in the first section of the Code. When taxes are due is set in Section 6076: “[R]eturns made on the basis of the calendar year shall be filed on or before the 15th day of April following the close of the calendar year.” If you are unconvinced, I think I’ve discovered the single most valuable resource on the Internet with regards to the mandatory nature of income tax at Jon Siegel’s Income Tax Page. If you’re really interested, you could spend a good hour poking around at everything in there. Professor Siegel is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School, he knows his stuff.

Finally, if you have any other frivolous tax arguments, the IRS has refuted practically all of them by now, including the one about how payment of tax is voluntary. Maybe you can find a new one and get yours added to the list!

(Photo: blmurch )

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207 Responses to “What Law Requires Us To Pay Taxes?”

  1. james says:

    all you have to do is go to your employer and tell them you need to change your taxes to exempt… then they will not take out taxes…get the word out for january 1 2011 and EVERYONE JUST STOP PAYING!!

  2. Dan says:

    In your quote “There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of every individual … who is not a married individual a tax determined in accordance with the following table ….” what is “taxable income” as defined by the Constitution and the USC? They both exclude wages as “income”….

  3. newfy777 says:

    not one red cent of the money you pay in federal income tax goes to running the government..not one thin dime..
    it goes straight to the 13 PRIVATE owners of the PRIVATE federal reserve money monopoly/cartel to pay off the national debt.. the 12 trillion + interest owed by Americans to the private banksters for paper money and computer digits made FROM THIN AIR..NOTHING
    this is w/o a doubt the biggest racket/fraud/con/scam and deception in the history of the world..the IRS is nothing but the enforcement arm for these private federal reserve banksters..[the “federal” reserve is in fact as federal as “federal express” they’re not!]
    this entire charade takes place outside of constitutional law IMO..
    “the PRIVATE federal reserve corporation is in fact above the law,
    and accountable to no one” – Sir Alan Greenspan

  4. michael says:

    I think its unconstitutional. As an american citzen born and raised i see no point to pay income taxes. But what about welfare and stuff like this? we dont need to support bums who dont want to hustle and make a living for themselves.There are people who are really disabled but we should have some sort of tax to help them not 30 to 40 percent! and why should a millionaire give up a whole bunch of his income? This was only supposed to pay for ww2 as most of you folks already know so why not abolish this?

  5. Andrew G. says:

    “Invisible Contracts” What most people don’t understand is that the Supreme Court ruled in 1896 in a case called Davis vs. Elmira Savings, 161 U.S. 275 that banks are instrumentalities of the Congress. Your bank account contract is the exclusive Equity instrument that initiates the attachment of liability for the positive administrative mandates of Title 26. In other words, the interstate system of banks is the private property of the King. This means that any profit or gain anyone experienced by a bank/thrift and loan/employee credit union — any regulated financial institution carries with it — as an operation of law — the identical same full force and effect as if the King himself created the gain. So as an operation of law, anyone who has a depository relationship, or a credit relationship, with a bank, such as checking, savings, CD’s, charge cards, car loans, real estate mortgages, etc., are experiencing profit and gain created by the King — so says the Supreme Court. In the words of Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter: “Equity is brutal, but we are merely enforcing agreements.” Or in other words, Judges don’t like the idea of being thought upon as being mean gestapo agents — doing the dirty work for the King. They consider themselves as being struck between a rock and a hard spot — being asked to enforce agreements and without being given any valid reason as to why you should be let out of it — other than you just don’t feel like being incarcerated. So what happens during these (Willful Failure to File) trials is that: 1. The Intelligence Division of the IRS surveys the local banks in the vicinity of the tax protester, and obtains copies of the protester’s signature card and financial transactions statements from the bank. 2. At the time the U.S. Attorney requests the Judge to sign the Summons, the Judge has been presented with your bank account information. So now during the prosecution the Federal Judge is sitting up there on the bench with your agreement with the King in front of him while the tax protester argues: “Well, Judge, the Fourth Amendment says…” “Judge, the Fifth Amendment says I don’t gotta…” Are you beginning to see why the Judge is prone to experience frustration and blurt out “the Constitution does not apply here!”? Meanwhile, the Judge is ignoring all Constitutionally related arguments and denying all motions. If you would go back to your bank and ask the manager to show you your signature card again, in small print you will see the words: “The undersigned hereby agrees to abide by all of the Rules of this Bank.” Have you ever asked to see a copy of the bank rules? If you have, you will read and find out that you agreed to abide by all of the administrative rulings of the Secretary of the Treasury, among many other things. What is really happening in these Willful Failure to File prosecutions is that the Judge is operating on the penal clause to a civil contract. And since you have agreed to be bound by Title 26, what difference does it make whether or not Title 26 was ever enacted by the Congress? A contract does not have to be enacted by Congress — in whole or in part — in order to make it enforceable. As for the actual taxation itself, what happens is that the King creates a “juristic personality” at the time you open your bank account. And it is that juristic personality (its income and assets) that the King’s Agents are “excising” back to the King. But in any event, the taxing power of the Congress attaches by contract or use of the King’s property. The Congress does not have the jurisdiction to use the police powers to raise revenue. That is the proper way (the ideal Alice in Wonderland way actually) to collect taxes, and that is the procedure by which Federal Judges are enforcing the law — not by ruling over gestapo Star Chambers. (I have some reservations on the modus operandi of Federal Judges to the extent that the Supreme Court mentions over and over again that: “Justice must satisfy the appearance of justice.” [Offutt vs. U.S., 348 U.S. 11] and that when a man is thoroughly convinced that he is on the right side of an issue — that justice has not satisfied the appearance of justice unless the criminal defendant is aware that he did wrong. And on these tax protester trials, that requires a sentencing hearing lecture by the judge to the defendant on why and where the defendant did err. So I disagree with the modus operandi of Federal Judges to this extent). So, in conclusion on this issue, if the 16th Amendment were somehow repealed tomorrow morning at 9:00am — it would not change a single thing (other than the IRS would have to start giving people a correct presentation of the law to justify the taxes). The IRS and the excise tax on juristic persons would continue on as usual. As it pertains to the proposed restraining order the King’s Agents are trying to get against you and your alter ego, please get a copy of the Complaint filed by U.S. Attorney Charles Magnuson dated January 31, 1984 — and turn to page 9. Examine the last five words in paragraph “b”: “…under the Court’s equity powers.” The charge against you is legitimate to the extent that you are in written contractual equity with the King. When you trace back the genealogy of your signature on your bank card, you will find that you agreed to be bound by Title 26, and under Section 7202 you agreed not to disseminate any fraudulent tax advice. And the concept that Federal Reserve Notes are not taxable instruments of commerce — for any reason — when the person has a written agreement with the King saying that FRN’s are taxable — this concept is in fact fraudulent. The Federal Judge probably is not going to want to disclose what document it is that you executed which created the attachment of equity jurisdiction. They have been asked not to let the cat out of the bag. The IRS handles this “bank account = equity relationship” on a military style “need-to-know” only type basis. You can file a Mandamus in the Circuit Court of Appeals or petition for a Subpoena Duces Tecum returnable against the U.S. Attorney to compel discovery of what it is that you signed that created the attachment of equity jurisdiction the King’s Agents are now acting under. This type of equity jurisdiction always attaches by written consent. Get rid of your bank accounts and your argument would then be— that you are not in an equity relationship with the King anymore. Then the Constitution would apply, but it does not apply to you now since you are in an equity relationship with the King — and private agreements overrule the Bill of Rights.

  6. john says:

    F-ucken aaaaa. andrews information make so much sense… it seems that not too long ago it stated right on your tax form that it was a voluntary and under the penalty of perjury all statement herein are truthfull bla bla… you sign it and something comes up different for that tax year then wack! I thought that this country does not have a king… if it is this angle they use to enforce this bull shit illusion..then i think that a third party candidate should run with all of this shit exposed! Get a vote to once and for all cut this back door relationship… and truly make this country a democracy. To have a bank account must agree to stoop to a king… this information showsthat the revolution was a farce plain a simple… The king was probably financing the revolution and supposedly loose the war to re-capture the people coming to the “new world” for “freedom” all along they were farming the masses for continued harvest…Andrew you make a hell of an argument… All of you copy this essay and put it everywhere…once everyone gets to learn about this ..there will be zero fear of the irs… because the connection would have been broken… This is why the check cashing industry has been allowed to flourish because they cannot closed… spread this information that andrew put out there…if you do not believe him go to your banks and ask to see the written agreements that outlines your agreement between the bank and yourself…if it says what andrew say it does… close you accounts and send money oders… the U.S, post office will sell them to you without asking questions as long as they are under $2,999 I am sick of this crap… we should make a run on all the bank and make them credit unions etc. without the agreement….. If someone opened up a bank that did not have this sgreement wow… there would be deposits up the ying yang…

  7. rodizzo says:

    the tax code cannot trump The Constitution and The constitution says no taxes on income earned from your labor

    • Andrew G. says:

      Private agreements overrule the Bill of Rights.
      Please read my post above (3/10 6:15pm) “Invisible Contracts”

  8. Yana says:

    Some of you guys are ridiculous. Nevermind the constitution or anything else, we have to pay taxes. Facts are irrelevant. We have NO rights other than the ones we have to fight for – and if you have to fight, it isn’t a right. Freedom IS free. If someone tells you, “freedom isn’t free”, they are part of the system that is against the masses. If it is a right, you don’t have to fight for it.

    • Biohazard559 says:

      That is the most flawed argument I think I have ever heard. So under your logic Black people didn’t have a right not to be a slave before it was abolished. I would argue the opposite, any right that you don’t stand up and fight for is a right that will be trampled on and lost. Freedom is and probably never will be free, you must fight hard for freedom or be enslaved.

  9. Butch Sanders says:


    Tax the earth, tax my birth. Tax the land you say I own. Tax the home I think I own. Tax the door. Tax the walkway to that door. Penalize more taxes to that home should I repair some stone. Tax the right to own, a fee to roam, for it’s not long to have that home.

    Tax my bed. Tax my table, at which I am fed. Tax me deep, I need not sleep. Tax my car. Tax the gas. Don’t worry about taxing the fuels of my anger, for you have taxed all others, so to add employment for your brothers.

    Tax my cat. Tax my dog. Tax my shoes. Don’t forget to tax my coat. You have managed to tax my goat. Tax the young. Tax the tired. Tax the cold, for all those taxes wont grow old. No plea for joy, only a speechless ploy. Go ahead and squeeze me for much much more.

    Tax my truck. Tax the plates I place upon that truck. Tax it heavy, just like a mule. Tax it equal to the load It carries , no need to enter school. Teach me that taxes are the rule. Don’t pass an attempt to attach another tax to say you must, so now comes the time to tax my ass. 

    Tax my work, Tax my new blue jeans I wore to work. Tax my pay, allow no time to play. Allow me to work all day for taxes are all I need to pay. I have no time to spend one dime from all the taxes you say are mine. Remove from my paycheck , and send me back what you cannot spend, I will accept this abuse, for what’s the use ? You will give those taxes you say are mine to the wealthy so they stay healthy.

    Tax my tobacco, along with the sins of my drink. Tax the smell of my cigars, and the beer I burp, and should I cry, have no fear to tax my tears. Tax me in a blink, should I decide to think. I hate to play, so make me pay. More taxes are here to stay. Tax the short, tax the tall, tax us all, and don’t throw sticks, tax the sick, no matter if they cry tell them taxes never die.

    Tax the old, It will be bold. I’ve been told I too am growing old. For all those hours I have worked, still new taxes were un-corked. I need no place to land, as it stands I was sent a fax. My work was given the ax. Should I holler and scream, and lose some steam, don’t arrest I need some rest, don’t place me in a cage, just blame it on my age.

    Tax any and all I have, then let me know that you wont be done, as you have taxed me to the bone. Then when all is said and done, tax my coffin, and to satisfy your crave, by all means tax my grave.

    Tax the sod in which I am laid. Place these words upon my tomb, “ Taxes carted my dumb ass here, and I no longer have the time to play nor means to pay.” I am gone, it’s not long to max the tax on my death, so I leave you this request. You a need a tomb for taxes, as the rich are rich enough and the poor are poor enough, and your voices not loud enough. When your voices are un-employed, work may be the least of your worries. You will need to work – work – work more hours as they will not relax the tax, so my last advice is to take ex-lax . THEY WILL NOT LET YOU PASS, YOU TOO WILL TAKE IT IN THE ASS! 

    What do Politicians, hot air and taxes have in common? Politicians are full of hot air and taxes always rise. Do you know the difference between the acronyms of IRS and KGB? Only the spelling.


    Butch Sanders

  10. Anonymous says:

    I dare you to ask them to define the differences between “taxable income” and “income”

  11. Burt says:

    Listen folks, INCOME is not defined by the IRS Code Book. Ask any so called TAX EXPERT to show you where it is defined. The idiot who runs this site quotes “taxable income”, if you say you have taxable income then you do. If ”
    income” is not defined, then you could say “taxable anything”. Americans are the most stupid people on earth, logic and common sense can be bought only in this stupid country, no where else. The Constitution by itself is not Law, except to the individual. The Government must pass a law which does not conflict with the Constitution, which law was passed that makes average Joe’s paycheck income?

  12. realusion says:

    That law this web page mentions, says that we all have to pay taxable income. It does, however fail to explain what taxable income is. Looking into it further, (within the titles) taxable income is defined as income made from the dealings, if you will from sources outside the United States.
    In the end we all read the same thing, but take with it different ideas and or meanings. Its very, very easy to say, hey, its been this way forever. And, see, we have this 500 page book that explains why you have to pay taxes, so deal with it and pay it. That is not a viable reason. Nor is “its the law” an acceptable excuse either. The people are the law. If the majority raises up and says, NO, then it becomes law. The people make the laws. Or thats how its supposed to work. Obviously, and not one person here can argue this, big money runs the government and thus the laws. I mean, even the most tired, most lazy of all Americans, are slowly, seeing that this is fact. Im a patriot. We do in fact have taxation without representation. How do I know? Ask anyone, or rather any, average anyone, how they enjoy the taxes. No one wants them and all believe they are too high, yet government, all federal, state and local, continue to raise them and, add even more. There are taxes on just about every single thing in America. And in some cases, a tax, on a tax. Silly.
    It might take another 100 years, but DC will be met with millions of patriots, with more than signs in thier hands. And they will demand democracy, or else. Thats just a simple, logical thought. Its obvious a revolution will happen again. Unless of course China/Russia decides to take us out first.

  13. Ptah Ma'at says:

    Hey, I agree with some of the satements and disagree. The reason why most pay taxes is because you are subject citizens, under the 14th amendment and therefor responsible for the national debt which is around 6trillion plus. Also if u read into further detail, certain native americans who are now citizens are NOT subject to tax provided that such treaties were formed with there tribal government. Also, if u read law dictionaries a person is defined as a corporation And also if u read Section 2 of the 14th amendment, youll find the same. The problem is that the IRS is almost acting as if it holds the supreme law, but the last time i checked, the constitution trumps everything in a since. Just like one of the readers said we are being lied to

  14. reginald says:

    A child buys a soda at a local store far from a teen or tween but as he ,or she pays the register rings an extra 8 cents or more for uncle Sam. This child is contributing more than anyone believes because he or she buys more than 5 sodas a month for the rest of theirs life’s and the gov. ran school teaches this child that then Boston tea party was the ethical thing as for us lets quit taking candy from the babies to support are misled bureaucratic lobbyist only shake my hand during campaigns representative of me political bull?hitters on someone will push a bill that are must show how much taxes the PRESIDENT pays a month if his net pay

  15. Anonymous says:

    Jim… Could you post your bio?

  16. Ed says:

    Let me start by saying I hate the income taxt. I feel it is unfair and should be replaced by a national flat rate or sales tax, properly ratified of course.

    However claims that the 16th Ammendment was never ratified are incorrect. 42 states ratified the ammendment the last being Delaware on 2/3/1913. 3 states rejected the ammendment and 3 states never even took it up (being only 48 states at the time).

    The interesting thing is that the majority of support for the tax was from the western states and the most resistance was from the East with 5 of the 6 from the east coast and most of the late ratifiers were along the eastern side of the country. This is opposite of what you would expect today, California being the exception (as usuall).

  17. Dick Chainey says:

    If you ‘Google’ this- IRS LOSES CHALLENGE TO PROVE TAX LIABILITY, you can read all of the related articles on the web. It seems as though there isn’t a law that requires one to pay taxes on their ‘labor’. Federal income tax is a tax on ‘profits’ & ‘gains’. One’s labor is NOT a profit or a gain because there was an even exchange. If a person wins a lottery for $1 Million because he or she bought a $1 ticket, that WOULD be a ‘profit’ or a ‘gain’. However, if that same person paints your house for $3,000 and did it all by himself without the aid of any employees, then the $3,000 is not taxable because it was a result of his ‘labor’. Thank You

  18. Juan R. says:

    Did not answer question…who is liable…and what is Taxable income???

    There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of every individual … who is not a married individual a tax determined in accordance with the following table ….

  19. Haven says:

    A serious question here. We’re a “democracy” are we not? Many of us here would say no that it is just a ruse to swindle the American pub lic into obediance. Let us prove or disprove that.

    Why don’t we start a petition? A petition based upon the evidence shown in this forum.

    It is one thing to talk about it what we should do, or tell everyone to stop paying taxes. It’s a completely different thing to actually take that action. If enough of us sign and pledge that we agree that this is a fraudulent law/tax/ect… then we will see if they act on the behalf of Americans like they should or if they will stay their course.

    One true thing about the internet is that Anonymous is legion. This means many things but mostly it means we are composed of many individuals from many walks of life. Six degrees of Separation means everyone on this planet knows everyone else through no more than six other people. Let’s test that theory as well…

    Make this public, get it into the eyes of everyone. And some cunning linguist please write up a god damned petition.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Supreme court defines income as profits and gains, not personal labor. Therefore we as working individuals have a right not to pay federal taxes.

  21. Dick Chainey says:

    If you ‘Google’ this- AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM, and watch it on the web, you’ll be able to see and hear former IRS agents saying that there isn’t a ‘law’ that requires an American to pay taxes on his or her ‘labor’. It seems as though Americans have been misled, or confused, about what’s really true in regards to Federal Income Tax. Thank You. P.S. Don’t forget to ‘Google’ this- IRS LOSES CHALLENGE TO PROVE TAX LIABILITY, and read the related articles on the web.

  22. john says:

    To the person that asked if we are a Democracy, No we are a Republic, huge difference.

  23. Yana says:

    As far as taxation, I think there should be a flat rate with no deductions or games – 7% – and taken out of pay if you have that kind of employment.

    What bothers me more than the fact that we have to pay taxes to avoid incarceration is the invasion of privacy. Why is it another’s business what we make? Health care reform is worrisome for this reason – I do not want any health care provider to be privy to our financial information. Medical insurance requires a social security number, and it is absolutely none of their business – but their business is to send people to the poorhouse because only THEY are worthy of income. Speaking for my own household, income taxes are not a threat to our success and comfort – but the health care system is a terrifying threat, as we are not multi-millionaires.

  24. Cattlefraud says:

    Have you ever wondered why the IRS writers will simply refuse to print a single word about anything that makes them look wrong about anything whatsoever? Isn’t rather odd that IRS are this insecure? ISNT IT RATHER ODD THAT THE IRS ARE THIS INSECURE? Seriously, folks, this isn’t a hard one. All “TAXPAYERS” must file. Now STOP RIGHT THERE! Before you go any further, go grab an authoritative legal dictionary. After all, we need to know that the legal definition of “taxpayer”, “must”, and “file” are the words we think they are. Can you see a problem here? There is no authoritative legal dictionary (that is a Lawyer, remember?), and so these words are left open to interpretation, as the authors of IRS related propaganda exploit constantly. If the IRS wants my money, I want the IRS to actually give me something in return.

    ==== A Short Poem About The IRS (by cattlefraud)=====

    We’re the IRS, and “we’re important”.
    We’re the IRS, and we’re sort of a part of the US Govt, but nobody knows for sure.
    We’re the IRS, and if you sign these papers, we become real.
    We’re the IRS, and we vouch for ourselves, isn’t that good enough?
    We’re the IRS, and we aggressively remove information that attempts to put us in a “bad light”.
    We’re the IRS, and we have so many internal codes that people get bored of calling our bluff. Besides, they would be dead of natural causes before they finished reading our definitions of ourselves, which WE the IRS get to make, and YOU DUMB little citizens are helpless to derail. Ha Ha, suckers, we’re the IRS, and you just signed your rights away on this rediculous piece of nonsense commonly referred to as W-2.
    We’re the IRS, and we’ll harrass your employer until you enter into a contract with us. See what happens when you try to call our bluff? The IRS will go out of their way to take your money. Which is sort of pointless, why don’t they go buy their own country, and just turn all of the “citizens” into full time slaves? Who wants to fight with “Tax Protesters” about the letter of the law anyway?
    We’re the IRS, and our forms are really official looking.
    We’re the IRS, and we hate it when you question anything that we say.
    We’re the IRS, and the more we say that, the more it becomes real.
    blah blah blahg

  25. Reply Name says:

    Hi there, just curious, but I was trying to do a bit of research. I’m drawing a blank for finding when it became a law. What year?

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