10 Bizarre Reasons People Say They Shouldn’t Have to Pay Taxes

1. Filing a return and paying taxes is voluntary

federal tax forms

Paying taxes isn’t voluntary. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The first and perhaps most direct argument against the U.S. tax system is the idea that filing a return and paying taxes is voluntary. Primary points include court cases, such as Flora v. United States, in which the term “voluntary” is used to describe how the tax system is based on “voluntary assessment and payment, not upon distraint.”

But when the IRS says filing a return or paying taxes is “voluntary” what it really means is that a taxpayer has the right to determine his or her tax liability by completing the appropriate forms, as opposed to having the government complete the forms and determine the bill. It doesn’t mean you have the option to opt out of the system entirely.

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