The Law Offices of Michaella Levandoski, PLLC does not handle tax law. The post below is in no way meant to offer legal advice or guidance.
A question that I get asked around this time of year is am I really required to pay income taxes. I explain I am not the person’s lawyer and they really should talk to lawyers who specialize in this area.
I then explain that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution grants Congress the collect taxes on income and Congress created the IRS to do this.
The 16th Amendment was passed by congress on July 2, 1909 and ratified on February 3, 1913 and states “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” And courts have continually supported that income taxes must be paid.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a great resource on case law in easy to understand wording about many of the arguments that people or groups have used to try and not pay income taxes.
In addition to the 16th Amendment the Revenue Act of 1913, a law passed by Congress also known as the Underwood Tariff, which created income tax. This law was created to help with the anticipated income loss to the United States by reducing tariffs (taxes on imported goods).
While the Constitutional Amendment created the right for Congress to impose taxes, the manner in which income taxes are collected has evolved through laws, rules, and regulations created after this amendment was passed and ratified. Even the date the filing of taxes are due has changed. Forbes has a really cool article on how Tax Day has moved from March 1 to April 15.
The 16th Amendment, rules, regulations, laws, and multiple cases tried in the judicial system all say that paying income taxes is something a person, making a certain income, must do. What is interesting is seeing how people try to argue they do not have to pay make and the history behind income taxes and tax day.