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 )

{ 207 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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

  1. Johnny Smith says:

    Law or no law, the fact is this; The Federal Reserve, and our government control our money, (we) do not… The entities that control the money, also have the power… If they choose to put us in jail for not giving them money- AKA (POWER), they certainly CAN.
    The only way we can choose not to pay taxes is to be self employed, or work “under the table”. Once you are on a payroll, the taxes are taken out regardless of whether or not you approve. And “IF the self employed minority were ALL to choose not to pay, because “they can’t put us all in jail”, then the IRS would likely just increase the taxes for everyone else- which would turn the people of our country against each other.
    So, I would like to know from those who say we need to “WAKE UP”, what are we supposed to wake up to? The fact that we are powerless slaves to a corrupt system? A lot of us are aware of that… In order to change it, we would have to topple our monetary system, which would leave us for generations (possibly forever) in a state of hopeless chaos. Is that what we should “WAKE UP” to? I don’t agree with our system any more than the next guy, but how can we get the masses to see through the smoke and mirrors? How can WE, THE PEOPLE gain the power that our government likes us to believe we have??? If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!

    • Simon Templer says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m very critical of how the system is run but I also know ranting and raving will do nothing but exasperate the problem into a futile chaotic mass hysterical situation. We are slaves to the system and that is that.

      • JT says:

        We are slaves to the system and that is that? You shouldn’t give up so easily. There are so many people that feel the same way we do about the system and how corrupt it is. We CAN do something about it, it just takes time and people that truly want to make a difference. Sitting around complaining wont do anything, so why not take action?

        • John Doe says:

          If your interested look into a group called The Venus Project. They might just be the answer to your question what can we do about it!

      • Dennis says:

        perhaps that is what we need is some chaos. What we have now isn’t working.

    • Ram says:

      Nicely said. You’re right, theres nothing we can do unless every person here in the U.S stands up to these bullies. But thats never going to happen….with religion, families, and their future, i dont blame them for not wanting to even consider the fact that they live in a corrupted system where the crooks are right in front of our faces. I’ve been obsessing with this topic, and a few others, for the last months..and its getting me nowhere since in reality, theres nothing for me to do about it…especially me alone. But one day, they will all wake up and take this country back. Making us pay money that the system makes out of thin air doesnt sound ok to me. But like you said, what is there to do? IF you find an answer, or solution…Let me know.

    • Jessi says:

      Just wondering if our paid for profit officials who gain their funding from the richest families in America (hence why we really never have a real say who gets into office) really know that they are protecting the aforementioned families interests by enacting amendments to already existing laws that make it appear that we the citizens of this great USA actually enacted a tax law or even agreed to allow congress to enact a tax law that taxes we the people?

    • john henry says:

      The US government doesn’t have the right to control our economy… the banks do. Do you know who owns the US federal reserve system? it’s a family owned “BUSINESS” which was named “US FEDERAL RESERVE”. It’s called a monster what was created by rich people like Franklin Roosevelt and people like him. All it does is it generates more and more debt for the people of the US. Did you see the president Barack Obama himself in the Federal Reserve ever before? I’m pretty sure that you haven’t, nobody is allowed in the Federal reserve building except the people who owns it or who is allowed by the chairman himself. I think that people of us are being cheated or the’re just blind enough to see the truth.

    • d.s. says:

      thank god there are people who are visionaries in the world. if everyone thought like you, we’d still think the world was round, we’d still think flying was a ridiculous notion. just because you can’t see a better way doesn’t mean there isn’t one. and it certainly doesn’t mean we should shrug our shoulders and say, “oh, well… that’s life. THEY have the power. THEY get to rape and plunder. That’s just the way it is.”
      What is key about your comment is that you said, if we did do something to move towards change it might leave us in a state of hopeless chaos (for generations or possibly forever). I’m sure there would be a time of instability and perhaps struggle, but that may be the work that is required to evolve. Aren’t we struggling and suffering now?
      Every time of revolution had people like you saying that things are bad but don’t try for anything better, i.e. the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. It seems many like you want some sort of change but not if there is the potential that you might have to be uncomfortable to achieve it. you want the change from the outside. unfortunately any change from the outside is only temporary. until we learn and live as sovereign beings from the inside out, we’re either in a state of waiting for the government, or religion or aliens or whatever to save us or we’re wasting time trying blaming or trying to fix old paradigms that don’t work and never worked for the greatest good of humanity.
      the answers aren’t in a new law or new religion, it’s not about a new system at all. each person has to do his/her own work in whatever small or large ways that present themselves in this process of awakening/liberation and through that work, systems of slavery begin to fail. in other words, the most powerful way to rid yourself of an illness isn’t to fight the illness, it’s to boost your wellness to a state that no germ can feed off of you.
      perhaps it’s not as dramatic as a hollywood movie of the good guys verses the bad guys, followed by a giant explosion that destroys the baddies and a victory lap by the goodies. in this time of quiet revolution, those who are willing to open up to a new way of living and are willing to do their part (however seemingly small or large) will begin to create a world that is worthy of living in. those who are still stuck in believing we are powerless, and those who are too limited to see new ways will be left behind.

    • asfasdf says:

      There is no law that require us to pay income tax. If you purchase the IRS handbook and look up the definition of the word income as published by them, it is a corporate profit. And since no is a corporation we are not required to pay income tax. The law however requires us to file taxes. You can argue this all you want but it is fact. Tobacco is mandatory tax, alcohol is a mandatory tax. I can go on forever. However, income tax is stated clearly that it is VOLUNTARY. The only reason people pay is out of fear because the IRS will illegally freeze your bank acct so you are unable to fight the. Research the law before you post this crap

      • bjr says:

        There is one way to determine if you are considered as a corporation. If you have in possession a little blue card with the Social Security Administration emblem on it and your name is in all caps, then sir you are considered a corporation by definition set forth by the congress that never ceases to oppress we the people. If you try to give your blue card back, then I dare you to try to seek employment without it. They have it under wraps pretty tight. The only way for us to defeat it is solidarity, but they are doing a great job at destroying even that. Just look at our current state of affairs.

  2. Jeff says:

    Well, I can not say I have knowledge of this tax issue, but all I can say; if there is a law to pay taxes, then all of Wall Street should go to jail because they don’t pay a dime of tax money.

  3. Tim says:

    Giving up is exactly what they want. They want you to think it’s futile. And ultimately our responsibility should lay in spreading knowledge. Because knowledge is power. It may seem futile, it may even BE futile. But the end result is we are going to have to fight for everything we deserve as humans. It will be a battle, but this is OUR battle. This is our generations call. To end the (private corporation) Federal Reserve’s domination over our country, the continual debt/slavery pressed upon our people and the creation of a democratic economic system. It’s not going to be easy. But it’s the only fight worth having.

    • JT says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more! Its going to take a fight, whether we like it or not. That doesn’t mean go and beat up a bunch of congressmen and women. We can do it in an orderly fashion. I’ve already got friends working on this if any of you are interested in getting involved. We need all the people we can get

    • Adam says:

      It is not a law unless you are an incorporated entity

  4. bigj says:

    i would help we need to take back usa

  5. blokhed says:

    this sounds intresting…..but what is your about?
    what are fighting for?

  6. Ayman says:

    Starting a peaceful preotest, holdnig up signs and waking up the American people is what we need to do. Politicians need a wage cut, and then see how things will change, The rich need to pay more in taxes while the middle class is able to feed themselves at the end of the day. The rich need to give back more instead of sucking up our wallets dry, and blaming it on the lower class. The middle class is falling into the lower class, and they’re to blame? I think not. The US government should consist of the people, not a bunch of high hat fat and ego hungry monsters who screw up the planet for their own benefit. Change should start now before we’re all tied in chains being locked away for not being able to pay off our taxes.

    • Jer says:

      Lets look at this more simply. We know that the IRS codes regulate the laws to require us to pay taxes. We know our monitory system is controlled be the federal reserve. We don’t know how our Government is required to pay the interest back to the Federal Reserve. Based on the Freedomm of Information act we could sue our government for with holding that information because the majority of our taxes are to go back to that interest. That in its self would be a huge awaking for us to find they are not Paying or conspiring with a falsely regulation system.

  7. biggE says:

    You start by working in ur own community, ur neighborhood.research da facts and have community meetings.this change will come from a grass roots movement.

  8. Nwc5003 says:

    This is all well and good but the states never ratified this amendment thus an individual does not need to pay income tax

  9. Joy says:

    taxable income is not the same as wages

  10. Donald says:

    Just make sure you sign the tax form, under penalty of perjury – that the information is “true” and “complete.”

  11. HelloThere says:

    The IRS quotes ITSELF for its authority? Did you know that’s a circular argument? It’s inherently flawed. What law catalyzes the authority for the tax code, eh? Also, by how many votes was the 16th Amendment ratified?

  12. TAXED TO DEATH says:


  13. troy says:

    theres no law anywere that says you have to pay fed taxs and yes we would all have to to force gov to close down fed resiver dont belive that our country would wood fall apart cause thats what they will say whys it so hard to just be good people and do the rhight thing

  14. johnson says:

    this is all to messy.
    as far as i can tell there is no statute that demands us to pay income taxes. If there is a statute please let us see it.
    I do not seem to be able to get ahead yet they audited me and said i owe 500,000.00 plus. now reduced to 150.000. i have never paid that much in my life. How do they make the assumption I can afford it or have that money. Suicide is a better option. I cannot go on like this it is way to damaging to me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I feel trapped and know not what to do!

  15. Joey says:

    But what is the definition of “income” ?

  16. Jake says:

    I am all for taking our country back from the crooks that have been, and are now in office. Let us know where to sign up to help out. It’s time to take down all of these scum bags and take our country back. Enough with the IRS, enough with Corrupt Politicians, Enough with letting them all get away with what they have done to us, and this country. Let us know what we can all do to help start this battle.


    • Alexandra J says:

      It’s NOT only the TAXING issue that needs to be dealt with but also our Civil Rights & how they are being violated & abused everyday. WE THE PEOPLE really need to come together, help others to realize what is happening to our Country & Fight back!!! Everyday people pay taxes, money is stolen from them & they accept it because they THINK they have to allow it, (One sheep following the other sheep hoping for an easier quieter life!)or believe that everyone has to! that’s what we’re told to do Or if I do as I’m told I wont get into trouble & will therefore live a quiet untouchable/unquestionable life. This same train of thought is also why we are loosing our Civil Rights with such a fast rate of speed that it’s almost uncomprehensible! (just allow the corrupt law enforcement officials to do their Jobs! Don’t question their authority & if they are really & legally allowed to do the things that they do (& get away with)Most people think that well they asked me to do it, or if it wasn’t the law then they wouldn’t have done certain things. WRONG!! Cops/Feds/Law Enforcement Officials get away with doing illegal things to us/against us everyday, (violate our legal Civil Rights)WHY? because people DON’T really know their RIGHTS!& DON’T question authority! Just look at the recent, come to light, violation of our FREEDOM to NOT be monitored without DUE cause!! YEP we should be questioning lots of things!! 1)Why the government can & does monitor our cell phone transmissions our E-mail accounts & messages, our bank accounts all without due cause or belief that we have violated some law or are apposing the government or political side in some way?. 2)Why are we (demanded supposedly)paying taxes? (higher than when this Country was first started by allot, & wasn’t this country founded & created in order to avoid paying taxes)3)Why are there laws & amendments put in place, lots of times, without public knowledge, just voted on by the corrupt politicians in order to benefit them in some way.(usually their wallets)) In fact this country is becoming more & more COMMUNISTIC everyday but NO one wants to admit it. Just like the Government didn’t want to admit that this country was in & still is in a RECESSION! WE NEED to stand up together & FIGHT for OUR RIGHTS!! (& quickly)

  17. virgil says:

    Okay, so if I’m required to pay taxes on taxable income then maybe someone can explain to me if there is a difference between income and taxable income and what that difference is. Also, if someone can go ahead and prove to me that the constitution and codes apply to me that would be great. So far, no body can seem to give me any evidence of such.

  18. JJ says:

    the code pertains to income. it even says “gross income derived from businesses..”. but WAGES are not considered income derived from business. corporations have income derived from businesses. but not people.

  19. bailey says:

    If everyone’s not on the same page, then there is no hope for taking our country back from the mess it has become. There are hard working Americans out here that cant even afford to pay taxes. Its that much more money from their income that they’ll lose to all the other crap were being forced to buy.(Obama care) food, the list goes on. screw the government!

  20. Cb says:

    Everybody watch the movie zeitgeist on netflix it will explain it all ..

  21. Willem says:

    I think we need to stop looking how we can change the system. We can’t, we are scum at the bottom of the pyramid. What we can do is almost too laughably simple. Stop using money. Obviously we can’t do this over night, but we have skills, knowledge, time, space, security, we are able to grow food, cook meals. barter and negotiate the skills we have in exchange for things other people can offer. I think we will very quickly discover the value of the things we create with our hands and our minds are of a greater value than the money that is made by having money. Suddenly the wealthy will be the most talented and the poor will be the ones with nothing to offer. It seems to me the opposite is true now.
    So the answer is to start to create our own currencies, share, swap, exchange, lend in a generous way that encourages others to do the same, let the gov steal money you earn at work so they can pay the interest on the money that doesn’t exist printed by the handful of families who can only survive is we remain enemies of our neighbours and at war with theological concepts. ALSO NEVER USE APPLE PAY or CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS, you may as well hold your arm out to get chipped now. Big Brother won’t need to watch you, they will know your every move, with your heart rate, and where you drank coffee, google maps will know where you plan to go before you get there, and if you plan to drive, walk or go via public transport. Apple, Google, the Banks and the Gov are collecting information on our every move AND they are charging us for the data, It’s about time we all start saying, you want that information, YOU PAY ME – and I’ll take that in unmarked vouchers – we will decide how much data you get and we will decide what the unmarked vouchers you give us in return are worth. We need to stop paying to be controlled – log-off the grid as often as possible, turn off those background refresh apps, we have the skills, the time, the strength or exchange and slowly ease much of what we exchange for money we can exchange for other peoples skills, time, strength, knowledge – paying TAX IS THE LEAST OF OUR FOOLISH WAYS – paying mobile companies to give away our precious data. I used to have to pay for my phone calls and I had unlimited data, now in 1 short year, I have to pay for all my data and I get unlimited calls to any network andy time and any country. So I delete whatsapp and skype and I pick up my phone and I speak to people again, turn off your gps tagging! turn off your background refresh, in fact turn off your cell phones unless you want to speak to someone. give them as little data as possible, they will start paying for it….

  22. jon says:

    no matter what they tell you. THERE IS NO law WHICH REQUIRES AN INDIVIDUAL WHO WORKS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO PAY A TAX ON HIS WAGES. If they say tHere is, ask them to show it to you. no one can find it. IT DOES NOT EXIST. never BELIEVE A WORD THE GOVERNMENT TELLS YOU…….

  23. jon says:

    THE 1040 FORM IS ALSO ILLEGAL AS THE OMB NUMBER 1545-0074 HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED therefor it is a bootleg form. the only form which bears that omb numer legally is FORM 2555′ FOREIGN EARNED INCOME,,, thats it. check it out

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