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Have You Been Harassed By "Frivolous" Threats?

Don't stand for it; it's time for some suing.

CtC FIRST BEGAN LIBERATING AMERICANS from the scourge of the misapplied "income" tax (aka the "ignorance tax") in 2003. Over all the years since, the beneficiaries of the status quo have been trying various things to suppress the spread of the book's information and to discourage claims made in light of that information.

One of the longest-running ploys has been subjecting a scattershot smattering of CtC-educated filers to scary-looking threats of a "frivolous return penalty" (FRP). The scamsters' hopes have always been that these threats will be mistaken as some kind of official dispute of the accuracy of the book's info, or at least will prompt rumors that the government pushes back against educated filings, which will discourage the timid from standing up for their rights and the rule of law.

These threats are often very overtly phony. Sometimes they arrive in the mailbox on the same day as the complete refund claimed by the filing being called "frivolous". Sometimes a single filing will be the pretext for a dozen of these FRP assertions, as though the button on the "scary-letter" machine got held down too long. (Those interested can find an expose of an elaborate IRS hoax concerning FRPs and CtC-educated filings here, and some in-depth discussion of the actual FRP provisions here. Find a discussion of a case in which the IRS and an OCC attorney produced false documents in an attempted cover-up of the hoax here.)

DESPITE THEIR LEGAL PHONINESS, FRP threats have done a lot of harm. They DO lead to rumors which have kept some folks who otherwise would have from even cracking open a book and learning the truth about the tax, and why it's so important. They HAVE disturbed the peace and quiet of those to whom they have been directed, and forced those folks into a tedious routine of writing and expensively-mailing responses.

A few educated filers have even had a portion of a complete refund dinged with a holdback of an asserted FRP liability.

In all cases these FRP threats amount to First Amendment assaults. All of them-- regardless of how specious-- involve government threats of harm unless the target repudiates his or her freely-made return testimony and replaces it with testimony more to the government's liking (for which a 30-day window is typically provided).

In short, these threats are outrageous and illegal. So...

I THINK IT'S TIME for lawsuits. I'm not a litigator, and can't say from experience what kind of relief could be sought. But I know that some kind of substantial relief is called-for here, and I can certainly equip an experienced litigator with all the needed understanding of the law regarding FRPs and everything else that would be involved in such a suit.

Therefore I want to invite anyone out there who had been the recipient of "frivolous penalty" threats; who has responded properly; and who has then received any kind of notice or other indicator that the threat is being sustained in spite of that response to consider suing. I have prepared and/or assembled some materials that I think will be helpful in that endeavor.

To begin with, secure documentation of the agency bad behavior through FOIA requests for relevant internal records. A package of sample requests with the relevant materials listed can be found here.

Second, download the sample COMPLAINT (mostly the work of warrior Rod Schmidt, to whom everyone owes yet another "Thank you!" for his good activism) here (NOTE: qualification for access to this sites Restricted Pages is required-- see this for more on that subject). The sample COMPLAINT is formatted as an MSWord .doc. (For those who don't have Word, the .doc can be opened and edited with the freely-available Open Office Writer program.)

Third, while going through the sample COMPLAINT assemble each document or other artifact referenced throughout in order to ensure all are on hand and properly archived for use as exhibits when that becomes appropriate. Don't file a COMPLAINT without having these exhibit materials in hand!

Exhibit materials include ALL of the following:

  • the tax return(s) filed and in regard to which an FRP threat was made;

  • the FRP threat letters or notices (i.e. LTR3176C);

  • subsequent notices of an "assessment" of the penalty or penalties threatened; subsequent notices of intent to levy;

  • agency records secured through the FOIA requests discussed above (to include at least one penalty-related internal agency record-- i.e. Forms 8278, 12775 or TXMODA-- listing "ARG44" as the purported "frivolous position" alleged); and

  • documentation of any actual diversion of finds or seizure for purposes of satisfying the alleged penalty, if such a thing has actually happened.

 Qualification for access to the sample COMPLAINT will also qualify you for membership in the National Forum, btw, so when you get going with your suit, SHARE THAT EXCITING NEWS!!

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them, and these will continue till they have been resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress."

-Frederick Douglass