Total government convictions for IRS 'tax crimes': 666Submitted by Resistance_2009 on Mon, 11/16/2009 - 10:45
Thomas A Barthold, Chief of Staff of the Congressional 'Joint Committee on Taxation, released a 4 page letter on Guy Fawkes day Nov. 5th, in response to Republican Congressman Dave Camp of Michigan.
Camp had inquired about H.R. 3962, otherwise known as the "Affordable Health care for America Act". Barthold began by recouting how Camp had "specifically inquired about penalties for a willful failure to comply" with provisions of the bill.
He explained that the bill contains a "tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage" and adds that the goal of the IRS is "consistency, fairness and predicttability in administration of penalties". Barthold continued "if the government determined that the taxpayer's unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply" and outlines 'civil penalties section 6662(a), 6663", etc.
Barton reassures Camp of the Justice Department and IRS benevolence: "Criminal prosecution is not authorized without careful review by both the IRS and the Department of Justice. In practice the application of criminal penalties is infrequent. in fiscal year 2009, the total cases referred for prosecution of legal source tax crimes were as follows:"
Investigations initiated: 1,531
Indictments and Informations: 757
Barthold added, "of the 666 convictions reported above for fiscal year 2008, fewer than 100 were convictions for willful failure to file or pay taxes under section 7203.....compared to the 666 convictions, approximately 392,000 accuracy related penalties were assessed on individual returns". He stated that in 2009, the IRS assessed 5,502 penalties under section 6702 for "frivolous positions taken on returns".
He concludes by telling Camp "I hope this information is helpful for you. if i can be of further assistance, please contact me."
Thomas A Barthold's salar, as listed in the Congressional Staffer Salary Data data, was $167,499.96 in 2008. It appears to have increased in 2009; every 45 days he is paid $ 21,562.50, serving as Chief of Staff. He also takes some trips such as to the Miami School of Law, where he had "lunch with students and faculty'".
Also of interest in the letter was a line that included two footnotes, one of which referenced defendants who held the belief that tax laws were unconstitutional:
"... a prosecution for willful failure to pay under section 7203 requires proof beyong a reasonable doubt both that the taxpayer intentionally violated a known legal duty  and that the taxpayer had the ability to pay ."
4. United States V Pomponio, 429 U.S. 10 (1976) but see, Cheek V, united States, 498 U.S. 192 (1991), in which the Supreme Court vacated and remanded a conviction, holding that the defendant charged with tax evasion was entitled to an instruction to the jury on good faith misunderstanding of the tax law, other than with respect to supposed unconstitutionality of the tax laws, regardless of whether or not his beliefs could be considered objectionally reasonable.
5 Spies v United States, 317 U.S. 492 (1943)
The letter also referred to a religious conscience exemption, which would exclude people from the obligation to purchase insurance. Jeff Dickstein, who successfully represented former IRS agent Joe Bannister on tax charges, gave advice to potential non-filers when questioned at a conference about the issue.