Sunday, January 18, 2004

Irwin Schiff recently stymied the tax pros on Fox News. (Note: this is a video and audio clip; it will take some time to download.)

I'm not sure when this segment aired; by the reference to the raid, I'd say sometime in 2003. In any case, it's GREAT STUFF. My favorite bit is when the high-roller tax attorney answers Irwin's $50k challenge by setting the US Code aside and saying "I personally feel that he should be in trouble." I personally feel that that lawyer should get a new career (which he actually may get to do pretty soon, by what Larken Rose is saying).

Fox alllllllmost got it right: they said either Schiff is right and we can all fill out zero returns from now on, or he's wrong and they should toss him in the clink. At the risk of seemingly splitting hairs, I'd say the action they should take if he's wrong is not to incarcerate him, it's to SHOW US THE LAW!!! (And THEN toss him in the clink.) So I give Fox 3/4 stars here; they did a good job of taking Irwin's point seriously without assuming he is or is not correct, and did a decent job of boiling down a lot of legal arguments for a short news segment without mangling them _too_ badly. Their undercover trip to H&R Block was perfect! That's the best ad for the Tax Honesty Movement that we could probably come up with! If the pros can't show you the law, why should you believe it exists? Just because some lawyer FEELS like it does -- or should? LOL!!!

If I walked into his office and said "I personally feel that I shouldn't get in trouble for not paying income taxes" how seriously would that hot-shot lawyer take me?

FYI, I don't agree with Irwin about all his points (see for one contrary viewpoint, not all of which I agree with either) but he is asking some of the exact right questions, and this news segment SHOWS YOU that the gov't. and the tax pros do NOT have the answers! (Actually, some of them know that we are essentially right about the law, but don't want to admit it, and some who do admit it won't act on that knowledge. There have been a lot of resignations of IRS officials lately, and some people speculate that being asked questions like the ones you'll see in this segment is contributing to their lack of enthusiasm for the job. I think that's very reasonable.)

Don't miss this video! 5 minutes 29 seconds of your life well spent.


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