Wesley Snipes Has Intriguing Views On Tax Law

 

Having glasses is almost like being a CPA

If you live in some kind of liberal-lousy neighborhood like mine, you’ve probably seen photocopied “TAX REVOLT ’08 — NO CASH FOR WAR” flyers taped to lampposts just above the sad lost puppy signs and ads for yoga studios. No doubt you imagine that not paying your taxes would be pretty rad, but then you think, “What sort of insane-sounding legal justification can I offer the IRS for refusing to pay my taxes? Obviously this isn’t the sort of thing I can ask my accountant. Who can I turn to?” Well, how about Money Train star Wesley Snipes? I know, it seems obvious now.

Wesley Snipes is currently on trial in Florida for tax fraud, due to this that and the other thing, but mostly because he hasn’t paid any taxes since 1998, and actually had the nerve to ask for the taxes he paid in 1997 back. His own lawyers say that, due to bad advice from unscrupulous accountants, he sincerely believed that he didn’t owe taxes for those years, and thus while he should have to pay back taxes plus interest and penalties, he didn’t commit fraud per se. Snipes had previously sent a 600-page document explaining why he didn’t pay taxes to the IRS, which sounds pretty much exactly what you’d expect from someone who thought Passenger 57 was a good career move. High points:

* “Does the IRS help ‘nontaxpayers’ such as myself in not complying with laws they are clearly not subject to?”
* “Warning pursuit of such a high profile target will open the door to your increased collateral risk, resulting from the exposure of substantive material issues in dispute and governmental illegal activities, contained in the administrative record BUT hidden from the general public and or jury.”
* “Whatever the case, thank you for taking the time to educate me and help me comply with what the letter of the law requires, which has always been my sincere desire as a patriotic, law-abiding responsible American like yourself who is simply trying to lawfully disassociate with what I regard as a corrupted, lawless, unaccountable oppressor of our constitutionally protected rights, in fulfillment of my, Natural, and First Amendment right to disassociate.”

I think I smell Ron Paul’s first celebrity endorsement!

Jury to Start Deliberations in Wesley Snipes Tax Case [NYT]
Wesley Snipes’s Anti-Tax Manifesto [NYT]

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About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

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Hola wonkerados.

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1 comment

  1. IRS tax lawyers

    A few of us were wondering where Snipes had wondered off to lately.

    I think it’s safe to say that all of us have to pay taxes. None of us enjoys it. But before anyone pulls something like this, check with your lawyer. 600 pages are a lot of lines to write.

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