40 days of Frivolous Tax Arguments: The filing of a tax return is voluntary.

This one is good. The tax protesters say that they don’t have to file income taxes because it’s a voluntary system. And they volunteer to NOT file taxes. Part of what fuels this misconception that taxes are voluntary is a Supreme Court decision which said “[o]ur system of taxation is based upon voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”

Except that didn’t mean that filing tax returns is optional. It means that it is mandatory for people to volunteer the information about their income and expenses. It means that people tell the IRS how much they made and therefore how much they’re supposed to pay. This is done instead of the IRS coming in and initially telling taxpayers how much they are going to pay.

So the bottom line is that filing a tax return is, in fact, mandatory. You don’t get a choice.

Incidentally, one guy got sentenced to 13 years in prison for promoting and selling this concept that taxes are voluntary. Royal Lamarr Hardy called his scheme the “Reliance Defense,” and he also got tagged with a bill of almost $200,000 for restitution to the IRS for his nonsense.

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