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Misunderstanding The Internal Revenue Code Costs Americans Trillions Of Dollars Every Year


Understanding It Costs Only A Few Hours Of Reading.



For the last 64 years of its existence, the U. S. Internal Revenue Code has been ridiculed, feared and despised by virtually everyone.  And why not?  As presented by the Internal Revenue Service, the code appears illogical, inconsistent and incomprehensible.  As presented, the code defies practically the entire Bill of Rights– requiring citizens to testify against themselves, allowing searches and seizures without warrants, levying fines and penalties without trials and imposing a tax on the basic right to earn a living.  As presented, the IRC would appear to turn everything we all thought we had learned in grade school English and Civics on its head.


 Is it possible that we all just misunderstood those simple lessons?  Maybe.  But researcher, analyst and scholar Peter E. Hendrickson believes that after Cracking the Code, you’ll agree that what has been misunderstood is the 3,413,780 word monstrosity itself– and how, and to whom, it applies.


Hendrickson delves deep into the history, statutes and case law behind the Code to reveal its startling and liberating secrets; and unless you live in a cave, you need to know what he’s uncovered.


Once you’ve finished “Cracking the Code”, the tax laws will never mean the same thing to you, or your bank account, again!

Tens of thousands of readers of 'Cracking the Code- The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America' have taken control of their own resources, in accordance with, and respect for, the law. Click here to see a few examples (well over a thousand, actually) of the complete, 100% refunds secured by these folks of all taxes taken from them under federal and state "income tax" provisions-- Social security and Medicare taxers included.


Start Reading Now!

What You Will Learn in ‘Cracking the Code’:


  • That the vast majority of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is not the law itself, but is only evidence-- a representation-- of the actual statutes in force, and like in the game of telephone, the real language has been a bit garbled in transmission.

  • That “income”, “wages”, “self-employment income”, “employee”, “employer” and “trade or business”-- as these and certain other terms are used within, and in regard to, the tax law-- have narrow legal meanings exclusively involving, and applying to, certain privileged activities, such as holding or administering a government office, or working in one.

  • That although the tax statutes make perfectly clear that, for instance, language describing the obligations of "employees"-- and the taxes to which "employees are subject-- only apply to a small minority of American workers, the distinction is artfully concealed in the IRC representation of the law, and is never forthrightly acknowledged in any IRS publication (although it is obliquely acknowledged whenever necessary for the avoidance of legal jeopardy).

  • That an elaborate system has been created which causes some people to whom the tax laws do not otherwise apply (maybe including you) to inadvertently declare themselves to be among the persons to whom those laws do apply.

"The revenue laws are a code or system in regulation of tax assessment and collection. They relate to taxpayers, and not to nontaxpayers. The latter are without their scope.”  United States Court of Claims, Economy Plumbing and Heating v. United States, 470 F.2d 585, at 589 (1972)


 Which One Are You?


The feds and thirty-four state governments have endlessly acknowledged that what is revealed about the law in 'Cracking the Code' is true!


What Readers Are Saying About 'Cracking the Code':

Because it deals largely with matters of law, let's start with lawyers who have studied the book...


"[Y]ou really need to familiarize yourself with Pete Hendrickson's absolutely magnificent work at his website and in his book(s).  He has, brilliantly and lucidly, "cracked the code" regarding the federal income EXCISE tax(es)."

Mark C. Phillips, JD


"...I find your work fascinatingly simple to understand."

Jerry Arnowitz, JD


"Your book is a masterpiece!"

Michael Carver, JD


"Received your book yesterday.  Started reading at 11 PM, finished at 4 AM."  "I have 16 feet (literally 16' 4.5") of documents supporting just about everything in your book." "Your book should be required reading for every lawyer before being admitted to any Bar."  "I hope you sell a million of them." 

John O'Neil Green, JD


“Thanks again for your efforts, Pete. They mean an awful lot to a lot of people.” “…as an attorney, I am humbled by your knowledge and ability in navigating the law.  THANK YOU for your hard work and sacrifice.”

Eric Smithers, JD


"I am an attorney and want to give a testimonial to your book, which I find to be compelling. I am exercising these rights for myself and my adult children. I'm even considering making this my new avenue of law practice."

Nancy "Ana" Garner, JD


Now, on to readers from every other walk of life:


“First off thank you for writing it!”  “I now realize the amount of work that you have put into this… I pray that tens of thousands purchase it. Again thanks!!!”  

Ed Paquette, Canton, North Carolina 


"Thank you so much for your exquisitely documented and beautifully written "Cracking the Code"- "This book is a masterpiece of analysis, clarity and revelation."  "This is brain candy for patriots!"

Christiane Sauter, Syracuse, New York


"I would like to pick up at least 10 copies of your book for friends and family…”

Charles Shiflett, Marietta, Georgia


“BRAVO!  You are an excellent writer and I certainly feel informed enough to begin my challenge of our Income Tax laws.”

Patrick Mooney, The Institute of Unlearning (www.unlearning.org)


"Your book gave me a much deeper understanding into what this is all really about, and a better idea of how to defend myself against the monster.”  “I enjoyed your style of writing, as it does bring greater clarity to a very complicated set of problems, one building upon the next.”  

Bill Woodrow, Damascus, Maryland


"Wonderful Book!!!  Thank you for your work!"

Michael-Edward, Deland, Florida


"I have been studying this subject for 10 years and this is, by far, the best work I have seen on the subject.  Not only is it enlightening, but it tells you how to proceed to get your money back if you should choose to do so. Thanks for your work."

Brad Parsons, Cleburne, Texas


"...I just recently read your book 'Cracking the Code' and I love it.  I have been studying the tax "problem" for about 6 years now and your book really crystallizes everything."

Karl Weatherly, Ketchum, Idaho


"All American Citizens who truly love their freedom and have a healthy skepticism of the federal government will add this book to their evidentiary foundation..." "...it's a beautiful thing you've done."

John Carpenter, Ann Arbor, Michigan


"Thank you so much for a well written book.  It  really gave me a lift."

Clyde H Shaulis, Jr., Erie, Michigan


"I just finished reading Cracking the Code yesterday and I must congratulate you on this fine piece of work.  I have spent several thousand hours in the law library researching these and other legal issues, and your book is a masterpiece."

Gerald Brown, Ed. D., author of 'Cooperative Federalism' and co-author of 'In Their Own Words'


"After reading your book, I knew that you had found the answer that everyone has been looking for."

Arthur Pollock, Perryville, Maryland


"...the most important book about the federal income tax that I have ever read (and I've read some two dozen in twenty years)..."

Pitman Buck Jr., author of 'The Colossal Fraud of Involuntary Perjury'


"If you are looking for the clear and simple Truth in the deliberately convoluted maze of Federal tax law, this is the one book you must read."

Steve in Boston


"…haven't been able to put it down.  Great information and fabulously put together!”

Bart Goss, Stockbridge, Georgia


"Thanks for the wonderful book."

Charley Harman, Black Diamond, Washington


"Great stuff!  Thanks... ...for an excellent read and all the investigative historical research.  ...I can now move forward with confidence."

Ron Flick, Roland, Arkansas


"...your book confirms my understanding of the fraud." "I have recommended this book to many..."

Jeff G. Pemberton, Little Rock, Arkansas


"Excellent material..." "You appear to have solved the puzzle, for which I am most grateful."

James W. Sisk, Goodlettsville, Tennessee


"This is a fabulous book I would highly recommend…”

Larry Golson, Montgomery, Alabama


"Excellent work.  You have demystified the most misunderstood and misinterpreted elements of the so-called tax laws so that anyone with an enquiring mind can easily see how these codes have been used to steal American's labor for over fifty years.  In particular, I enjoyed your philosophical and ideological commentaries on the nature of law, how it works, and why law must operate the way it was designed...

Grant Sterling, author of 'Forbidden Property: What You Don't Own Can Hurt You!'


"I have read your CtC book twice.  What a masterpiece!  As a CPA and CFP (Certified Financial Planner), I had always suspected that something was wrong with the tax system."  "I am telling all of my clients about your book and I am helping them file past due or amended returns to obtain their rightful refunds."

Don Gray, Portage, Michigan


"...one of the best I have read on the subject and I have been studying the subject for over 30 years."

Bill Richards, Newport News, Virginia


"I consider your book to be one of my most prized possessions.  Thank you."

Darrell Berg, Milton, New York


"Read the book in about 2 days.  Very well done.  I have been looking at the issue for about 5 years and you distill the info down in a way even the newbies can absorb.  Well worth the asking price.  I hope this really sells."

Ed Wahler, Fletcher, North Carolina


"Thank you for your superb work..."

Chet West, Woodland Park, Colorado


"I cannot express how helpful 'Cracking the Code' has been...  Once I picked up your book, setting it down was not an option!  Who could have guessed that a sound grasp on what the law ACTUALLY SAYS could utterly banish the multifarious voices of misinformation streaming from the bureau."

J. K., Rhinelander, Wisconsin



J. J. W., Akron, Ohio


"Loved your book Cracking The Code."

Bill Harding, Hudson, Michigan


"Great Book."

Richard DeSimone, Columbus, Ohio


"Greetings!  I want to thank you heartily for the fine book 'Cracking the Code."

Betsy Dettloff, Rochester Hills, Michigan


"Your book is excellent..."

Arnold Leibowitz, Los Angeles, California


"I found the book to be extremely beneficial even though I was fairly knowledgeable on the subject prior to reading the book."  "It is definitely on my list of 'recommended reads'. Thanks for a great book."

Phil Patana, St. Louis, Missouri


"...I appreciate your book greatly..."

Jeffrey T. Maehr, Pagosa Springs, Colorado


"Your book gives me a great boost in my determination..." "Thanks for your great book as I will use it as a reference in the future."

T.L. Peck, Lyman, South Carolina


"EXCELLENT" "...very well written and accurate." "... I would highly recommend."

Dave Wissel, Lebanon, Ohio


"I am SO grateful for your book."

Nancy in Massachusetts


"I've just started reading the book a couple of days ago.  Talk about mind blowing.  Your book is really helping me to understand what the tax system is all about."

Elizabeth Larsen, Midland, Michigan


"What a great book!"

John B. Gartner, West Chester, Pennsylvania


"I very much enjoyed reading it and will be recommending it to many..."

K. B., Omaha, Nebraska


"...a valuable tool, and a wealth of knowledge."  "Thank you for all your research..."

Arleen Miller, Page, Arizona


"After receiving CtC I read it in a day or two (every spare minute I could get).  It is the best book-- the best material-- I have read yet on the income tax issue."  "Thank you for your research and your great book..."

Robin Kartchner, Pleasant Grove, Utah


"...of everything I've read in the last 15 years, this is certainly the clearest explanation I have ever seen."

Sue Kennedy, Sun Valley, California


"Wow!!!!  I've been studying this for 10 years and haven't gotten anything as clearly as you have put it in your book.  I will be ordering more copies to put into the hands of everyone I know!!  I cannot thank you enough for your time and research."

Joyce Cox, Afton, Wyoming


"Thank you for the most informative, wonderful book I have read in ages."

Andy Valisalo, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida


"...one of the best, most readable [books] I have found in my 20 years of studying the IRS and the tax code, rules, regulations and administrative procedures."

Steve Blumenthal, Salinas, California


"...an excellent book..."

Carolyn Gard, Houston, Texas


"I wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate the level and quality of research you've obviously undertaken to write this book."  "...I think your book is probably one of the most cohesive presentations I have read on the subject of the federal income tax."

R. L., San Diego, California


"...very enlightening...  Thank you very much..."

Holland V. Corbitt, Loganville, Georgia


"I think your book is the best and most thorough analysis of the "Income Tax" law.  The book is extremely well written.  Almost no one has written about this subject with the clarity and precision you have in your book."  "I think your book is the one everyone... ...should read."

Joe Wert, Arlington, Texas


"I want to express my congratulations and my gratitude for such an exhaustive and thorough work as 'Cracking the Code'".  "[I found it] extraordinarily enlightening."

Carl Stewart, Saint Cloud, Florida


"...the best info I have ever read."

Charles Boulton, LaCenter, Kentucky


"Your book is exhaustively researched and a must have for anyone who is considering removing the government leech from their backside. Great Stuff!"
Rick Jaensch, Annandale, Virginia


"Kudos to a well researched and well presented book.  It's about time that someone has printed a book that accurately describes the meaning and intent of the tax laws."

Thom Anderson, Annapolis, Maryland


"Wow! You’ve created a masterpiece..."  "I too am walking taller today after reading “Cracking the Code”.  Thank you very much for writing it..." "...you’ve given us the knowledge needed for asserting a proper legal defense."

Michael Olsen, Wellsville, Utah


"Thank you for writing "CtC"; it is most excellent, in quality of research, style and clarity.  I agree with you that this is the most important issue for the people of this nation.  I have recommended your book to all my compatriots in the fight against fraud."

Doug Eades, Copley, Ohio


"I have finished reading 'Cracking the Code' --it's excellent.  It puts the government's sham of fraud & extortion into perspective.  It finally all makes sense!  I'm recommending your book to everyone I know."

Ron C. Rector, Broadview Heights, Ohio


"Thanks for all the work, research, and courage to act that you have put forth.  I've been hammering away at understanding this ugly mess for years.  The research and writings of so many other people, for which I've spent thousands of dollars, can't hold a candle to your laser..."

Val-David Smithson, Reno, Nevada


"Thank you for writing your fascinating and informative book.  'Cracking the Code' is the first book that I have read which offers a comprehensive explanation and viable resolution.  Your book has been the key to unlocking the Tax-Code puzzle"

Carl Olsen, Colorado Springs, Colorado


"I have spent over $5000 on information regarding the IRS, and I consider your $20 book the best piece of information that I have found.  Thank you."

Judy E., Raleigh, North Carolina


"I really have enjoyed your book and companion CD.  Both are well done- best I've seen from anyone, and I have read extensively..."

John Peacock, San Diego, California


"'Cracking the Code' has shocked and amazed me.  Everything checks out... a more important book has never been written.  Reading it is like taking the red pill in the movie 'The Matrix'.  Thanks for showing me just how deep the rabbit hole goes."

Thomas H. deSabla, Silver Springs, Maryland


"Many have attempted to research and sift the data, but your book and website alone... ...separate truth from error substantively and consistently.  Your explanations are always cogent and clear...  You have given me the tools to be upfront with this information to my acquaintances credibly and authoritatively.  Thank you..."

John  J. Bulten, Tulsa, Oklahoma


"Your book was fabulous.  It was concise, yet full of information.  It was clear,... masterful.  I am somewhat familiar with the tax/sovereignty issue, however, I have never encountered a work such as yours.  Thank you for enlightening me..."

 Marc Mabli, Long Island, New York


See video testimonials by readers of 'Cracking the Code


Read the review of 'Cracking the Code' by Steve Thomas of the Mackinac Center


What the federal and state governments have to say about 'Cracking the Code-...'


Start Reading Now!


From the Foreword to 'Cracking the Code- The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America':


It was not until the late 1990’s, when the Internal Revenue Code was digitized (and thus made searchable) that it became possible to decipher its deliberately confusing and misleading construction.  Only then could complete searches be done of all 3,413,780 or so words (not counting regulations) for every incidence of “liable”, “imposed”, “income”, “employee”, and dozens of other key or misleading terms-- checking every reference, exception, definition and source.  Only then could it be established that, as written, the laws behind the code and the taxes that they impose technically comply with the Constitution, just as all the judges have said over the years.

But the same analysis also reveals that, as written, these laws don’t apply to most of the receipts of most private citizens.  Indeed, the two things are interdependent-- the former couldn't be true unless the latter was also true.


What you will learn as you read this book is that specific Constitutional limitations on the federal government’s power to tax do shape related law, and have generated a coherent Supreme Court doctrine which clearly and soundly answers the question of what is taxable "income”.  Both the statutes and the doctrine acknowledge the exemption of the vast majority of private-sector receipts from that taxing power’s reach.

However, you will also learn about a complex combination of craft, routine bureaucratic incoherence, and casual-- and not-so-casual-- corruption by virtue of which many people are led to inadvertently allow, and even participate in, the legal transformation of their untaxable earnings into taxable "income”.  Such people are tricked into voluntarily and utterly unnecessarily enabling the diversion of a river of wealth from their own hands, usually never to be seen again.


Thanks to an unhappy coincidence of reiterations and amendments of the law, a series of complicated judicial rulings, and the passage of time and memories, the details of American tax law-- and the principles upon which it is based-- have come to be widely misunderstood.  The opportunities presented by that reality have been seized upon, by those paid to maximize revenue flow to the government, to successfully construct an elaborate and deceptive tax scheme rooted in today’s Internal Revenue Code.

This scheme capitalizes on widespread public ignorance of general legal doctrine and rules of statutory construction.  It  practices a careful gauging of extraction levels to the tolerance limits of key demographic segments.  It relies upon the concealment of the underlying actual-law-in-force behind the misleading words of the code, which is legally no more than ‘evidence of the law’, and not the law itself.

Fundamental to the scheme is designing that code to be so dauntingly and profoundly confusing as to force the vast majority of those against whom it’s directed to abandon even a pretense of personal comprehension.  These targets are thus compelled to surrender their decision-making to the code’s administrative bureaucracy or a professional class of fixers and go-betweens-- the members of either of which are dependent on the scheme for their own earnings.  Unsurprisingly, both assure any who ask that of course private-sector receipts are taxed under the law.  If pressed, these experts will trot out carefully selected, out-of-context and ambiguous fragments of law calculated to convincingly suggest that what they claim must be in the law, somewhere.  But somehow, they never manage to demonstrate exactly where.  ‘Cracking the Code’ is going to provide that missing context, unravel the tangle of deceit and confusion, and make clear that not only is it not in there anywhere, what is in there is just the opposite.




“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’,” Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t-- till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”

“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean-- neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master-- that’s all.”



 Part One

(The Nature Of The Law)


About Taxes- Direct v. Indirect


The Origin Of The “Income” Tax


The Supreme Court And The Meaning Of “Income”


Regarding The Law And Its Virtues


The Plot Thickens


The Law Means What It Says


The Code Is Born


Withholding The Truth


Crafting A Trade Or Business Plan: A Guide For The Self-Employed




 Part Two

(The Nature Of The Scheme)


“W” Is For Weapon


W-9’s And Other Alien Notions


Lies, Damned Lies, And W-2’s


W-4’s- The Blind Leading The Blind Down A Primrose Path


Feeding The Hand That Bites You


About 1040’s, And Claiming Refunds


Part Three

(The Nature Of The Crisis)


Why It Matters






Selected Supplemental Observations And Expansions


A Letter From The Social Security Administration


A Lawful Direct Tax


A Note Regarding State Income Taxes


Form 1099 MISC


Form 4852


The Supreme Court On The Meaning Of 'Capitations'


A Guide To Additional Materials


Start Reading Now!



IRS And State Responses To Proper Claims For The Refund Of Money Improperly Withheld



Read 'Cracking the Code' and avoid the pitfalls of such expensive-- and possibly dangerous-- misunderstandings as:

  • That the income tax didn't exist, wasn't Constitutional, or was ruled unconstitutional, before the Sixteenth Amendment (or isn't Constitutional now).

  • That the Sixteenth Amendment, properly ratified or not, has anything to do with the income tax as it is administered in regard to most private-sector citizens.

  • That income only means corporate profits.

  • That "United States citizens and residents" can only get "taxable income" from certain listed "sources".

  • That filing a 1040 automatically makes one a "taxpayer".

  • That "wages" are not income under the revenue laws.

  • That FICA and FUTA taxes are not just income taxes.

  • That the "subject" of the income tax is never identified in the law.

  • That the income tax is connected with the 'Uniform Commercial Code'.

These fallacies, and many more, have arisen because most researchers, even when highly dedicated, make the mistake of looking no deeper than the misleading and legally irrelevant code.

(Click here for brief comments regarding some of these misunderstandings)




'Cracking the Code- The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America'

Heavyweight laminated softbound;
8vo size; 256 pages.
ISBN: 0974393606

Start Reading Now!


Read the Book, Learn the Truth, and Start Upholding the Law!


“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

-James Madison


About The Author


Pete Hendrickson is possibly the most effective lawyer in history, even while never having set foot in a law school, nor ever being a card-carrying member of "the bar". He is the first American in history to secure a complete refund of Social Security and Medicare ‘contributions’ withheld from his earnings (along with all other property taken for federal taxes); further, since 2003 students of his legal analyses and arguments in ‘Cracking the Code- The Fascinating Truth About Taxation In America’ (CtC), and its sequel, 'Was Grandpa Really a Moron?' have been routinely retaining and recovering billions of dollars which otherwise-- wrongly, but as a matter of course-- would have gone to federal or state government treasuries. This despite concerted efforts by government to suppress his work, and in some cases vigorously oppose the claims by his students.

Hendrickson's business career has included nearly a decade-and-a-half at the leading edge of the renewable-energy industry, both as Director of Purchasing and Materials Management and member of the R&D board at Starpak Energy Systems, the mid-west's then-largest solar heating and energy-recovery-and re-utilization company; and as founder and president of AFJ Inc., a high-efficiency lighting design, manufacture and installation firm.


Beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing for the twelve years before his present full-time focus on the restoration of the rule of law in America, Hendrickson directed purchasing activities for the $84 million-a-year multi-family-housing division of the Farmington Hills, Michigan branch of Edward Rose and Sons, with responsibility for 18,000+ apartments, direct supervision of 35 technicians and agents, and incidental authority over several hundred divisional workers.  He also ran the division's 10 cable television earth-station and distribution systems in four states, and designed and administered the company's website.


On rather the other end of the spectrum, amidst these more mundane pursuits Hendrickson co-founded and was the primary creative force behind a small board- and card-game company that enjoyed a modest success for several years.


Hendrickson makes his home in southeast Michigan, with his wife and two children.  He is currently working on his next book.