Since the time of Benjamin Franklin, Americans have done their best to disprove his famous statement, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." While we here at Cracked have been at the forefront of disproving the former, we've been a little less helpful about the latter.
We're not talking about free-riding fatcats, but rather those true heroes who valiantly argue that the vast majority of Americans should be paying no income tax at all. And while their success rate has so far been zero (unless we're counting those not paying taxes because they're in prison), we'd like to salute the visionaries and the bat-shit insane legal arguments which they truly believe will make a judge say, "You know what? You got us! Shut it all down!"
The "Spelling and Punctuation Count" Argument
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you are Lea Viglione, and you've logically determined that the attractive shouldn't have to pay taxes. After a few years of non-filing you receive an envelope with a return address of IRS, Department of You Are So Fucked, Washington, D.C., addressed to ATTN: LEA VIGLIONE. Now, if your first reaction is "Uh oh, game over!" well, just get out your checkbook, quitter. If, however, your reaction is, "Hmm... I wonder who this LEA VIGLIONE is, as my name is clearly Lea Viglione," then you're on your way to an insanely awesome legal argument!
"You can't tax someone who isn't wearing a shirt....Right?"
Amazingly enough, numerous people have argued that JOHN DOE is an entirely different entity from John Doe. In case you're wondering why the same rule-of-thumb that helps you ignore retarded message board posters would also help them avoid taxes, their delusion seems to be that there is no right to collect taxes from individuals, so the government creates "straw men," indicated by capitalized "fraudulent legalistic names" on tax forms and court documents, that it can tax as businesses or other taxable entities; shockingly, most of us brainwashed fools pay these straw men's tax bills.
When the IRS presses this button, you get a 100% tax refund!
Similarly, people have ignored correspondence without their preferred, unorthodox punctuation as being addressed to the wrong person, as Walter Edward, Kostich, Jr. did with any correspondence omitting that extra comma. And when all of that fails, just do what Michigan resident Lynn Ealy did: he "notified the IRS that his name had been copyrighted and that if the IRS used his name for any purpose, the IRS would be subject to a $500,000 fee."
The "Missing Persons" Argument
Even simpler, you can admit that the IRS Code gives them the right to collect taxes from "persons," but you just so happen to not be a person. The Sovereignty Education and Defense Ministry--highly recommended for those who want a dash of Jesus with their tax evasion--quotes a sample U.S. legal statute that states "The word 'person' includes individuals, children, firms, associations..." and concludes "NOTE HOWEVER, THE DEFINITIONS STATUTE DOES NOT LIST MAN OR WOMAN -- THEREFORE THEY ARE EXCLUDED FROM ALL THE STATUTES!!!" [Page 67]
"The form doesn't specifically mention temps. It's the perfect crime."
Of course, we can probably ignore this as it's in capital letters, but perhaps the multiple exclamation points cancel that out. This line of argument has had the exact same success rate (zero) as similarly limiting definitions of the terms "individual" and "taxpayer."