5 votes

Is income tax constitutional or not ?


I heard Ron Paul talk a lot about repealing 16th amendment, income tax ... and so on. Also I red about the income tax being unconstitutional.

I wanted to read about the facts, and I have problem so find, how is the income tax unconstitutional.

Could you please direct me to court cases, law/constitution citations, or anything about the unconstitutionality of the income tax ?

And even if the 16th amendment would be repealed, would the income tax be unconstitutional?

As I understand it, congress had the authority to impose direct on indirect taxes (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1), but all direct taxes, what the income tax is, had to by "apportioned among the several States" (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3).

The 16th amendment only changes, that income tax is "without apportionment among the several States".

Thank you.

PS: I understand all the arguments about income tax being unfair, only because of FED ...., and I red about arguments about 16th amendment not being ratified ... I'm only searching for facts in the constitution.

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Denise B's picture

The income tax, as it is ENFORCED,

is unconstitutional on many levels. I say as it is enforced because the laws as they are written are very different than how they actually enforce them. There is no provision in the entire monstrosity called the Internal Revenue Code which actually makes anybody "Liable" to pay the income tax. If you look in the table of contents of the IRC you will see a "Liability Section" for every single tax listed in the IRC, with one exception: the Income tax. There is no liability section because based on early Supreme Court Cases, the 16th Amendent conferred "no new powers of taxation on Congress", i.e. if they couldn't tax people directly without apportionment before the 16th Amendment, then they couldn't do it after the 16th Amendment. There were a flurry of cases shortly after the (alleged) passage of the 16th Amendment which went to the Supreme Court (Eisner v. Macumber, Doyle v. Mitchell Bros. and at least 4 others), where the court made it clear that it hinged on the meaning of the word "income" as used in the 16th Amendment - Since Congress failed to provide a definition of the word as used in the Amendment, the court stated that it had to mean whatever it was accepted to mean at the time it was passed. That definition provided by the court was basically a "corporate profit", which in essence was an excise, indirect tax levied on corporation's profits, "seperated from its source" through a profit and loss statement (hence their statement that the 16th Amendment conferred no "new taxing" authority, because they already had the authority to levy excise taxes without apportionment). So in a nutshell, there is no liability section in the IRC, because if they provided one, it would be obvious that only corporations and federal employees (different reason for this) would be listed, so they leave it out all together and since no on is legally "liable" to pay the tax, then technically the code as written is not "unconstitutional"; however, the manner in which they seek to enforce it most certainly is (enforce it on people who are not made liable to pay it or are tricked into believing that they are).

There are a lot more issues with it then just this, but I would need to write a book to spell them all out (and in fact several people already have...Irwin Schiff being the first). Bottom line is, just like Edwin Viera stated, the only rights you have are the the ones that you can enforce and we lost the battle on this one a long time ago.....Mostly because too many people are just too afraid to stand up against them...maybe someday that will change...I can only hope..

I tried standing up to these tyrants years ago and am still paying the price for it - I was told by a member of the IRS that "technically" I was correct, but that "it didn't matter - I was going to have to pay it anyway"...


Her's a video that will help you get up to speed.. Hopefully. Long but well worth the time!

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

Tne United States was founded

Tne United States was founded on the basis of natural law, at its center being that the people are sovereign. To have any law, no matter at any level of government, that says the government owns your property, your income, and will determine how much if it you can keep, it inherently against the natural law and against the basic founding of the U.S.

fireant's picture

Of note, the authors twice mandated apportionment:

Article I,Sections 2 and 9.
That's rare in the Constitution, which tells me it was integral in "securing the Blessings of Liberty".
The 16th (and 17th, along with the Federal Reserve Act, each innitiated in 1913 under the guidance of Woodrow Wilson) decimated that underlying precept of diffusing power by preventing the national government from having any direct authority over the people. Thus, we became a nation state (rather than a nation of states) in one fell swoop.
Given that this new arrangement no longer secures the Blessings of Liberty, I believe the 16th is indeed unconstitutional.

Undo what Wilson did

to wit, hopefully PRESIDENT Paul's first act of pardon will be

Irwin Schiff, Peter Schiff's father, whom the Fed. terrorists have locked up for merely exercising his natural right of Free Speech, on the UnConstitutionality of the Income Tax, a direct line of theft to NWO Wall St. Banksters & Mil. Ind. Complex.

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Let's not

forget the entire organic government of United States was set aside sometime around 1900 or before and replaced by a corporation(s) and their agencies. Which means We The People have not have a functioning constitutional government since that time. All laws passed since are color of law; i.e., statutes for governance of corporations. Our government was stolen from us and replaced with that which serves the liars and thieves. Meador's research traced all this out WITHIN THE LAW itself.


16th never ratified therefore

it is not law and has no legally binding effect on anyone.

Bill Benson wrote a very interesting two volume book: The Law That Never Was.
Source: http://www.thelawthatneverwas.com/

In which he describes how he conclusively proved that the Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was NEVER ratified.

The very foundation [bedrock] of authority [US Constitution] regarding the legality of the collection of taxes upon incomes is in serious question. And it needs to be lawfully addressed. It needs to be conclusively and exhaustively researched, whereupon the Congress must address this important matter. If this is true, then
the Sixteenth Amendment is a fraud perpetrated upon us by Philander
Chase Knox http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/qa/17398.html

It appears that the only people who are lawfully required to pay US Income Tax are the people living within Government districts, and/or US Government employees. There are significant issues at Common Law [law of the land] that need to be addressed.

PS: The Sixteenth Amendment was declared 'in effect' NOT ratified
http://political-resources.com/taxes/16thamendment/default.htm Essentially it was corporate America i.e., US Corporations that desired to impose the Income Tax upon the population of the United States.

Research: The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution has not been ratified.
Source: People v. Boxer [California Superior Court]

William J. Benson

Affidavit of William J. Benson

Philander Chase Knox

Tax Code: The Law That Never Was

Income Taxes: Unconstitutional?

Criminal Law

Beardsley Ruml [Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1946]

Tax History Museum

Before The Income Tax by G. Edward Griffin


Would like to include

this exhaustive research by Dan Meador (rip):


PS: the previous post was not researched and written by myself.

It sucks, but it's

It sucks, but it's constitutional.

SCOTUS threw out the original one early on for a reason I can't remember off hand, hence the 16th Amendment. Of course, you could repeal the 16th Amendment and the government would just say "so WHAT?!?!?"

They don't really care one way or another if it's constitutional.

I would, however, argue that the current one is unconstitutional because it is NOT an "income tax", it is a tax on how you use your money, and it is designed to reward or punish specific behaviors. This is NOT constitutional per the Power to Tax clause. Taxation for the purpose of changing, punishing or rewarding behavior, rather than the primary purpose being to raise money would be unconstituitonal. It's hardly an income tax if it is not actually taxing each dollar of income equally.

But good luck with that argument too, they truly don't care. It's legal because they say so, period.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
"Annoyance is step one of thinking"
"We're all in the same boat, it doesn't matter if you like me"

wolfe's picture

Does it matter?

If murder and theft are legal, does it make them right? Are you fighting against injustice, or are you fighting to make sure that theft and murder are properly documented as legal on the books?

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

16th amendment never ratified

Since the 16th amendment was never properly ratified, it should have been done away with long ago.


It was ratified by all 50

It was ratified by all 50 states.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
"Annoyance is step one of thinking"
"We're all in the same boat, it doesn't matter if you like me"

There weren't 50 states in

There weren't 50 states in 1913.

gold = money
war = health of the state
liberty = prosperity

Hah, sorry, yeah, you are

Hah, sorry, yeah, you are correct. Mental slip.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
"Annoyance is step one of thinking"
"We're all in the same boat, it doesn't matter if you like me"

Constitutional Law Professor, Edwin Vieira Jr. of Harvard

June 29, 2000

Now, the American people must ask themselves, "What is the self-interest of political officials sworn to support this Constitution, to preserve and protect the Constitution, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, what is the self-interest of those individuals who would maintain this country in subservience to an income tax Amendment they know, should know, and have every good reason to know, was never ratified, and is therefore not part of the Constitution, and not a law, to be faithfully executed or even to be executed in any way, shape or form?"

Clearly, it is not the self-interest of true and honest agents of average American men and women. For in no rational sense could such deceitful and disloyal officials, behaving in such a lawless manner, be considered the people's representatives. Then who or what have they been representing all of these years? And more to the present purpose, who or what are they representing now?

Realistic political science teaches that there are two, and only two, kinds of government. One is what the ancient Romans called, "a res publica," a public thing, a government for the people. Not necessarily a democracy, because ancient Rome was not a democracy. And not necessarily a republic, because the ancient Romans from time to time appointed dictators, with good reason. And one can even imagine an aristocracy or a monarchy that would put the public interest, the general welfare, the common good of every citizen, ahead of all narrow special interests. Well that's one form of government.

The other is a government of, by, and for a self-selected, self-perpetuating, crew of elitists. This is not "a res publica," a public thing. It is La Cosa Nostra, "our thing." [audience laughter and applause]. That is, gangster government. And such is precisely the nature of what passes for the government today in Washington. And in the states, and the counties, and the cities. It's just a different 'family,' depending on where you are.

This explains what is going on with the 16th Amendment far better than any legal mumbo jumbo such as the doctrine of political questions. America's gangster governement does not give a rotten fig what the law actually is. Because law is just a camouflage, or a cover story, for the gang's looting and oppression of the rest of society [audience applause]. America's gangster government operates under what its legal mouthpieces called a "living Constitution." That is, a Constitution, the meaning of which depends on the interests of the big shots who happen to be living [audience laughter], and who pull the legislative and judicial strings.

So, America's gangster government can function perfectly well under Constitutional Amendments that were never ratified. Because whether an Amendment was ratified is far less important than whether it can be enforced. And I remind you of the wisdom . . . the man was not a Sicilian, he was a Neopolitan, but he had tremendous wisdom in this area . . . Alphonse Capone, one of the great political philosophers in American history [audience laughter]. He said "You can go a long way in life with a smile, but you can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun." [audience laughter]. It's what you can enforce.

It depends...

For U.S. Citizens, yes.
For State citizens, no.

Which one are you and then you'll know if it can be Constitutionally applied to you or not.

if you're just a state

if you're just a state citizen, they call you an illegal immigrant and throw you out of "their" country.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
"Annoyance is step one of thinking"
"We're all in the same boat, it doesn't matter if you like me"



This is probably the most boring documentary you will ever watch so have your coffee in hand; however it details EXACTLY why it is not legal and the whole entire tax code is a maze meant to make it so confusing that you just give up and pay. The maze to the truth is so extensive and confusing that the "Tax Courts" will not even allow it as a defense...go figure.

Someone below had indicated that the 16th amendment legalized the income tax; however a Supreme Court ruling shortly after the passing of the 16th amend. ruled it gave no new additional taxing powers. I would also suggest watching "America: Freedom to Fascism" They give a lot of good info in that doc too.

The 16th Amendment, the

The 16th Amendment, the income tax, has been the subject of many Supreme Court decisions. The IRS always cites to the Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916), to inform the public that the income tax was held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court. What the IRS doesn’t inform the public about Mr. Frank Brushaber, the central character in the Supreme Court case, is that he was a withholding agent for several foreign investors in the Union Pacific Railroad, acting as their fiduciary.

The Supreme Court, obviously being aware of all of the pertinent details, ruled in the Brushaber case that the federal government always had the power to tax income as an excise tax and, therefore, the 16th Amendment is constitutional.

The Supreme Court then ruled in the very next case it decided, Stanton v. Baltic Mining, 240 US 103 (1916), the following: “… that by the previous ruling it was settled that the provisions of the Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation, but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged and being placed in the category of direct taxation subject to apportionment by a consideration of the sources from which the income was derived…”. The ”previous ruling” cited in the Stanton decision was referring to the Brushaber decision.

A few years later the Supreme Court again ruled upon the 16th Amendment’s effect on the federal government’s power of taxation. In Peck & Co. v. Lowe, 247 US 165 (1918), the Supreme Court stated, in part: “The Sixteenth Amendment … does not extend the taxing power to new or excepted subjects …”.

In a word, yes but , as many

In a word, yes but , as many have said, it did not create a new tax that was absent apportionment. There is very good evidence the 16th amendment was never properly ratified, although the courts refuse to rule on the issue. The truth is the tax is constitutional it is just misapplied to almost all American Citizens.The book found at the following link explains exactly what I am saying.


"Sixteenth Amendment

"Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation"
this is my understanding also.

I don't see it as "ratification" of the income tax, but as "categorization".
And that would mean, that income tax is constitutional, but the 16th amendment changes if it should by apportioned.

Please watch.


This is Freedom to Fascism. Herein is your explanation.

John F


Or they would not have needed an AMENDMENT to the Constituion to institute it.

And for those who don't know, the federal income tax was instituted the same year the Federal Reserve was created.


I think NOT.

Research Reagan's study on where our taxes go called the "Grace Commission" for some depressing enlightenment.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

I think part of it is a

I think part of it is a language question. The Constitution specifically forbids capitation, and the personal income tax is, in fact, a capitation(as defined by Adam Smith). Income taxes have always been legal, but income was formerly defined as profit or gain from corporate activity, not the wages you earn from trading your time and labor for money. I don't know the case by name, but one that's quoted as proof that wages are income, actually doesn't say what the income tax defenders pretend it says. It actually says that corporate profits are derived from labor, thus corporations can be taxed for the labor they employ, but it doesn't say that workers can be taxed on their earnings. Employment was previously viewed as an even trade between employer and employee, a form of barter. This case redefines the relationship, and I believe that is the basis for the government's argument that they can tax us as much as they like. There are several cases (all prior to the New Deal) that state the 16th amendment did nothing to increase the taxing power of the government, but the government plainly disagrees. Wish I remembered the case names, but it's been awhile since I researched this topic.

Couldn't find this anywhere

Couldn't find this anywhere "income was formerly defined as profit or gain from corporate activity".
Where is income tax defined in constitution ?

"An income tax is neither a poll tax nor a capitation".

But still,
what you argue is only the difference whether income tax is direct indirect.

But where does the constitution forbid the taxing of income taxes of any source?

PS: you probably mean this case http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hylton_v._United_States

It's not.

You should watch the documentary, "Freedom to Fascism," by Aaron Russo. This DVD is where I first saw Ron Paul.

Capital gains tax (i.e., tax on profits of businesses) is the only constitutionally legitimate form of tax on any kind of income that I know of. It is absolutely illegal for the IRS to steal from people's paychecks. The IRS is therefore a criminal gang.

Some people have successfully defended themselves in the courts on the basis that there is no income tax law (sounds so simple, doesn't it?). Some have not, as judges can abuse their power. But in the end, no one can produce a law or constitutional provision for the income tax because it was proscribed in the constitution by the foresight of the founders. There is no law.

John F

If the income tax was

If the income tax was unconstitutional, why would Ron Paul want to repeal the 16th amendment?

That doesn't make sense.

If the 16th is repealed, there will be nothing left to give legitimacy to the IRS. The Income Tax wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Your post is sort of illogical...

*edit* Of course I'm referring to something being constitutional as being strictly meant by the drafters--i.e., it must be in the original, and comply with the spirit of it.

Amendments aren't necessarily constitutional in that sense.

John F