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The Chairman's Report July 24 2020

The Chairman's Report July 24 2020
Photo Credit: Steve Hayes by is licensed under
The Supreme Court & The Trump Tax Returns

On Thursday July 9, the Supreme Court issued three decisions which will ensure the “controversy” over The President’s federal income tax returns will continue to distract attention from the real problems we are facing.  Two of the cases involved Congressional subpoenas which sought to obtain The President’s income tax returns.  The court didn’t decide the cases but sent them back to the lower court.

Chief Justice Roberts said courts considering such subpoenas should:

*  Perform a careful analysis which takes adequate account of the Separation Of Powers principles at stake, including both the significant legislative interests of Congress and the "unique position" of The President

*  Whether The President’s papers are really necessary (because the information cannot be obtained elsewhere)

*  Whether the subpoena is as limited in scope as it can be while still serving Congress’ purpose

*  Whether Congress has shown the subpoena advances a valid legislative purpose

*  What burdens a subpoena imposes on The President

The third case concerned a subpoena issued to Mazars, President Trump’s accounting firm, by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance as part of an investigation by a state grand jury into criminal violations of New York law.

The President had argued the subpoenas couldn‘t be enforced while he is in office.  The justices rejected The President’s argument he is categorically immune from state criminal subpoenas, but they sent the case back to the lower courts to allow The President the opportunity to challenge the subpoenas on other grounds.

Once the lower courts have issued decisions upholding or denying the subpoenas, it’s certain the losing side will appeal and this “controversy” will continue for years.

The Court Ignored The Elephant In The Room

While the media is going crazy speculating on the impact of these decisions, no one is asking the obvious question;  Why should anyone be required to file an income tax return in the first place?

A federal tax return is signed “under penalty of perjury”.  This means the taxpayer filing the return is subject to criminal prosecution if it contains any untrue statements.  Some people say, “If you have been honest on your income tax return then what do you have to fear?”

That’s a legitimate question, but it’s just not that simple.  By signing your tax return under penalty of perjury, you are stating the information you have provided is true and in conformity with the corrupt and incomprehensible Infernal Revenue Code. Given the complexity and all the ambiguities in the tax code, can anyone really attest with confidence?  Of course NOT!

Perhaps those whose return is just a statement of income from their employer and the calculation of the resulting income taxes can, but the huge majority of taxpayers can’t.  Even relatively simple 1040 returns can have multiple double-sided pages even paid tax preparers often disagree on how to complete.  This problem is magnified by a factor of ten for business returns.

As we know, the Infernal Revenue Code is full of provisions which may be interpreted in different ways.  All of us want to pay as little in federal income taxes as we can, so we make our interpretations in the way most favorable to us. Sometimes people make honest mistakes, and sometimes they do something inappropriate on their return without even knowing it.
 
How many of us, when we get our federal income tax return back from our paid tax preparer, actually go through it line by line to verify that all of the information is correct?

Business tax returns are way far more complex.  Both President Trump’s personal and business tax returns  can be 100’s or even 1,000’s of pages long.  Even though he has to sign them, does anyone really believe he goes through each page, looking at each figure, and verifies the information?

Yet, like all of us who sign a federal income tax return, The President is signing under penalty of perjury and is thereby declaring each and every statement on his immense tax returns is true and correct.

Largely because of the complexity and vagueness of the Infernal Revenue Code, it’s very difficult to sue someone to obtain copies of their federal income tax returns.

Many courts apply a 2-part test to determine if a person must show their income tax return to a person suing them. First, the requesting party must show the income tax returns are relevant to a legitimate purpose, and second, the information contained in them isn’t readily obtainable by other means, which it almost always is.

In January of 2019, the California Court of Appeals ruled under California law, federal and state tax returns are privileged, and improper disclosure can give rise to claims for tortious invasion of privacy.

The 5th Amendment Violation.  What The Court Should Have Addressed

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation".

It’s the provision against self-incrimination in play here.  If someone falsified his income, assets and liabilities to get a mortgage or a credit card, then he is guilty of fraud.

President Trump, like all of the rest of us, is required to sign an income tax return containing information the accuracy of which he didn’t personally verify but trusted others to compile.  He is attesting the information is true under penalty of perjury, but he doesn’t really know for sure.

Because false statements on an income tax return can be prosecuted, as Al Capone found out the hard way, an in-depth examination of The President’s income tax returns could lead to referrals to federal prosecutors.

A prosecutor can find any data in the income tax return appearing to be incorrect or could be inconsistent with other data the prosecutor has obtained.  Then they can use the conflicting data to claim the individual or business violated the law, either the Internal Revenue Code or another federal or state law.  In other words, by using information from a tax return, a prosecutor is using a person’s own statements against him to charge him with a crime.

How is this not a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment?  How could the courts up to and including the Supreme Court ignore this basic fact?

Conclusion

We have seen many people invoke their rights under the 5th Amendment to not answer questions on the grounds it may incriminate them.  This is a right most Americans agree is an essential part of our rights as Americans.

However, why do so few people object to filing federal income tax returns used to incriminate us?  People incriminated by their own tax returns are often sent to prison and still no one objects.

The Ruling Class and their minions aren‘t worried.  They know the law is applied differently to them.  They hang on to the federal income/payroll tax system because of the money it makes for them and the control it gives them over the rest of us.

Sometimes we forget just how powerful we the people are.  We number in the tens of millions and they are only tens of thousands.  Yes, they spin the myth they are all-powerful, just like the leaders of all of the failed civilizations of the past said before they were removed.  These parasites only can live if we allow them to feed on us.
Demand Congress To Pass
The FAIRtax—the only “Fair tax”!

The author George Bernard Shaw said these words in a play he wrote, "You see things; and you say 'Why?'  But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not'?”

Isn’t it time for us to ask, “Why not?” 

President Trump, Embrace The FAIRtax, the only real tax reform!  Stand up to the Swamp.  They will oppose you anyway because they see you as a threat.  What have you got to lose?

The truth is the truth!  Remember, if we don't continue to tell the truth and demand a change, then George Orwell's "1984" quote may foretell our children's future: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever"
Thank you for staying FAIRtax strong!
 
Yours In Liberty!   Yours In Freedom!

Steve Hayes
Chairman, Americans For Fair Taxation


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