17 votes

Clearing up the confusion: Is the income tax voluntary?

Though it may seem confusing at first, the correct answer is: The federal income tax is voluntary, and if you volunteer, it is mandatory. Those Americans who voluntarily choose to work for the National Government as a career choice find that the federal income tax is mandatory due to the Legislative Intent of the 16th Amendment.

Those Americans who were born in one of the 50 states of the Union, to parents of which at least one of them was born in one of the 50 states, or those who were naturalized, must realize that the federal income tax for them is completely voluntary.

The truth has been obfuscated for many years by a government who is not only trying to protect its stream of revenue, but indeed growing an empire via military action with bases in over 120 countries.


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Thank you. I am aware of a

Thank you. I am aware of a few cases regarding the income tax, and it seems like it just depends on the judge you get, and if you're lucky enough to get a jury.

scawarren's picture

To my understanding the issue

To my understanding the issue is in the definition of "income".

Lexically speaking

'Endowment' ~ volitionally
'Tax' ~ coercively

Ask Wesley Snipes

He might argue that the federal income tax is NOT voluntary.

Explanation OF THE TAX!!!!!! Here's is a general explanation!!

The IRS Cheifs know the truth, the Executive Branch knows the truth the Judicial Branch knows the truth and the Congressional branch also knows the truth about what the tax is and who it applies to under what circumstances!!!!!


It's right in the IRS Manual that you CAN NOT... never ever ever ever USE THE IRS Publications and Pamphlets to, in their own words, "sustain a position"., which anyone can access online at WWW.IRS.GOV (here's the link to the exact page on their site: http://www.irs.gov/irm/part4/irm_04-010-007.html and go down to section entitled publications and read it for yourself)

Which means the IRS publications and Pamphlets ARE NOT THE LAW. They NEVER HAVE BEEN THE LAW! Because they aren't the law!! The are like little newsletters posted by the IRS to the "tax professional community" that then those "professionals" accept as the word of God, except they are "NOT TO BE USED TO SUSTAIN A POSITION" and the "professionals" ARE NOT AWARE OF THAT!!! Most professionals don't even read the law to determine squat about the tax or the nature of the tax. They start off from the beginning with the myth that everyone just owes the tax.

Here's an example. The IRS says that "tax protestors" claim wages are not taxable. That can be true or false, depending on how you understand the law.

For instance, Wages, as defined under section 3401(a): (This is the actual statutory definition, ready.... here we go.... )

(a) Wages
For purposes of this chapter, the term “wages” means all remuneration (other than fees paid to a public official) for services performed by an employee for his employer, including the cash value of all remuneration (including benefits) paid in any medium other than cash; except that such term shall not include remuneration paid—

++++ (Note: (other than fees paid to a public official) is correct because fees belong to the government, not the "employee" receiving "wages"... that's why they are called fees.

++++ (NOTICE the use of the word means... where it says "wages" means. Now watch, here's the definition of "employee" for purposes of Employment taxes... same general section except it's 3401(c)...READY!!! Here we go

Section 3401(c) Definition of Employee:

(c) Employee
For purposes of this chapter, the term “employee” includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation.

++++ (Note: This definition enumerates federally related workers. And that last line, The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation., is referring to federally related corporations. Like a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc..) And that would make sense since congress DOES have the authority to legislate on it's OWN "EMPLOYEES"!!!! Where do any private sector people fit into that definition and also where can u make the jump from federally related subjects to private sector from that definition????

++++ (NOTICE the use of the word INCLUDES... which has an entirely different meaning than the word means. The word includes and including are defined under section 7701(c)... and here's that DEFINITION: READY AGAIN.....

(c) Includes and including
The terms “includes” and “including” when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined.


For example. If congress defined the word "Food" for a certain section wherever and the definition said, "Food: For purposes of this chapter the term food includes apples, pears, oranges"

What that then means since it would use the word Includes is that I cannot exclude like minded things. So I can't exclude strawberries, apples, peaches, pears, papayas, mangos, etc... because they are of the same general class of what has been defined which are "Fruits". But I can't include eggs, milk, bread, etc... because even though those items are food for how WE WOULD refer to them in private conversation, that's NOT what the law is referring to!!!!! Get it yet???!!!

But to be making STATUTORY "WAGES", as defined, you would first have to meet the requirements of the definition of "Employee" under section 3401(c). Its a word game.

So technically, you are most likely NOT AN "EMPLOYEE" as defined by law earning "WAGES" as defined. Because for you to be earning "Wages" as defined you MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST... did i say that enough, MEET THE STATUTORY requirement of the definition of "EMPLOYEE".

Congress can define words to mean whatever they want them to mean. So they can take a word YOU and I are familiar with and use in private conversation to describe getting paid, like the word "WAGES" and REDEFINE it for purposes of the law.

Now, once Congress has provided it's own definition, OUR PRIVATE CONVENTIONAL definition NO LONGER APPLIES!

So when the IRS says "Wages" are taxable, technically yes, Statutory "WAGES" as defined by the code are... BUT HERE's the catch, Statutory "Wages" is NOT the same thing as Wages as you get paid in the private sector. But when an IRS publication mentions "WAGES", it's talking about the staturoy definition, not the conventional definition.

Here's what the court said:

"When a statute includes an explicit definition, we must follow that definition, even if it varies from that term's ordinary meaning. Meese v. Keene, 481 U. S. 465, 484-485 (1987) ("It is axiomatic that the statutory definition of the term excludes unstated meanings of that term");"

So, when we encounter a word, that you and I are familiar with, BUT, it has a definition that strays from the "ordinary meaning", we are to use the definition in place of the traditionally defined word!


So, im not saying that the "Beast" will just leave us alone because there is some magic silver bullet argument, that's NOT what Im saying at all. All im pointing out is what the law says and why it says what it says.

Income tax is an Excise. The law clearly shows the application to be in the nature of an excise. Not that congress didn't want to include you and I and the entire private sector world as those who are required to pay the tax on our own domestic source monies, it's that they DID NOT HAVE THE POWER or Authority to write such a requirement into the law because, get this, .... IT WENT BEYOND THE CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY OF TAXATION THE CONGRESS WAS DELEGATED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. And if challenged at that point containing that language, which to this date is NOT there, THEN, THEN YOU COULD challenge the Income Tax as unconstitutional. But as long as you continue to sign W4's and W9's, neither of which have anything to do with the average guy in the private sector earning his/her own domestic source monies, then the IRS is going to ACCEPT your STATEMENT under Penalty of Perjury that YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PAY THE TAX!!!! The IRS does NOT have to prove that you were NOT the person who was to sign such a form, ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS PROVE YOU DID!! AND THE SIGNING OF THOSE FORMS ARE THE STARTING POINT FOR OWING THE TAX! IT'S THE STARTING POINT FOR THE REPORTING PROCESS AND THE LIKE! STOP SIGNING THOSE FORMS!!!

NOW DO U GET IT???? !!!!

Hope this helps.

Love Liberty, be Vigilant

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Faith in God will prevail all things!

have you had success with this argument

in court or against the IRS?

What need is there to go to court if....

What need is there to go to court if....If I am NOT signing W4's or W9's, and starting the whole reporting process.

The "Income Tax" has NOTHING to do with me. So, therefore, when someone ASKS me to sign a form as mentioned before, I DO NOT! Those forms do have purposes and serve a purpose for the tax, but HAVE NOTHING to do with the average guy living and working in the private sector earning his/her own domestic source monies.

I know i know, everyone tells me, "But if I don't sign the form, I can't get paid..." Well so be it... I do...

The point I'm making to you is that MOST EVERYONE who gets prosecuted starts their OWN prosecution by starting the reporting process by SIGNING THOSE DASTARDLY FORMS that have NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM because some MORON somewhere said they were required to even though that MORON NEVER READ 1 WORD of the Law to determine that to be the case. The IRS does NOT have to prove you were NOT the person required to sign that form.... No no no, all they have to do is PROVE THAT U DID... and if there is reporting with YOUR identifier on that reporting that goes back to the IRS, then YOU ARE the one who started that process....

So, when somebody goes and DOESN'T pay a tax, that they themselves have reported as taxable, then yes, you are going to get prosecuted.

It works like this.

A W2 or 1099 is issued at the end of the year to said "taxpayer". That reporting goes also to the IRS where a log of the reporting is noted in the ACS (Automatic Computer System) where it then awaits a tax return. If you do NOT file when you DO have this reporting, which for MOST AMERICANS IS ERRONEOUS reporting, then the computer system will kick some automatic letters out to the "taxpayer" asking where their tax return is for the year "such and such". If you STILL disregard those letters, then the ACS kicks it up to a REAL PERSON that then sends even MORE letters to get you to pay based on THE REPORTING THAT YOU APPROVED. If you STILL DON'T FILE, then you are screwed, because now they will escalate that reporting to a LEVY.

Here is the Levy Section from the Statutes: READY???!!

Sec 6331

(a) Authority of Secretary
If any person liable to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay the same within 10 days after notice and demand, it shall be lawful for the Secretary to collect such tax (and such further sum as shall be sufficient to cover the expenses of the levy) by levy upon all property and rights to property (except such property as is exempt under section 6334) belonging to such person or on which there is a lien provided in this chapter for the payment of such tax. Levy may be made upon the accrued salary or wages of any officer, employee, or elected official, of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of the United States or the District of Columbia, by serving a notice of levy on the employer (as defined in section 3401(d)) of such officer, employee, or elected official. If the Secretary makes a finding that the collection of such tax is in jeopardy, notice and demand for immediate payment of such tax may be made by the Secretary and, upon failure or refusal to pay such tax, collection thereof by levy shall be lawful without regard to the 10-day period provided in this section.

WOW... NOTICE THE SECTION I BOLDED... IT IS PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL to the definition of "Employee" under section 3401(c). And that second half of that paragraph IS WHAT and WHOM the Secretary has the Authority to levy upon!!!

And what's that definition for reminders sake of "Employee"??? Here it is....

For purposes of this chapter, the term “employee” includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation.

Do you think that people say at a bank, when they get that Levy form, actually READ the LAW PERTAINING to levy authority???? Of course NOT!!!

It's all connected. You have to actually read the law to see what it requires and NOT just live a life of ignorance because of FEAR of what somebody MAY or MAY NOT do to you.

Truth can be hard to come by, but when people do, THEY DON'T SEEM TO WANT TO DO ANYTHING with the TRUTHFUL knowledge they have been given!!!

Go read Dave Champion's Book "Income Tax: Shattering the Myths"....


Love Liberty, be Vigilant

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Faith in God will prevail all things!

Do not even think about going up against the IRS

During the 1980's, Reagan had the IRS target tip earners in order to increase revenue. I was living in Las Vegas at the time working as a casino dealer. Dealers, waiters, waitresses, cab drivers, etc. were targeted. I got an attorney, Oscar Goodman, and he was able to make a deal for my husband and myself, but we both got out of tip earning jobs ASAP.

I ran into people for decades, including some of my good friends, who were still trying to pay off the IRS. They could not buy homes, because the IRS lien goes on your credit rating. The interest and penalties triple the original tax liability. You cannot declare bankruptcy against the taxes. They can take your wages and confiscate your bank account. There is no recourse.

Many years ago

you didn't have to pay protection money to the Mafia. But it was advisable to do so!
Same situation with the IRS. Unless you are looking to get hurt.

Im looking to defend Liberty my friend!!!!

Im looking to defend Liberty my friend!!!!

Love Liberty, be Vigilant

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Faith in God will prevail all things!

Allow me to interject a question

or two that will read like a foreign language:

Does any value of a paycheck derive from any source(s)?
What is/are the source(s) of value?
Is a source of value relevant to anything?
Is a choice to engage in a taxable activity a voluntary act?

Choice to engage in a taxable activity?

Does any value of a paycheck derive from any source(s)?

In a free society:
The value of a "paycheck" is one of two elements involved in a mutually agreeable exchange.

The value IS subjective to each individual involved in the exchange.

In a tyrannical system:

The value of a "Paycheck" is no longer a mutually agreeable exchange. It is subject to the interference of a 3rd party interloper who controls the use of force.

Therefore, it's value IS subject not only to manipulation, but appropriation by the party who controls the the use of force.

It is this 3rd party who decides what "a taxable activity" is.


the unit of account also voluntarily and mutually agreed to?

What is the relationship between a unit of account and value?

If the unit of account is claimed as intellectual property of a third party and not used in accordance with it's wishes, does a third party have any cause of action to exercise any property rights?

Cyril's picture

FWIW, I'll answer only your last question

FWIW, I'll answer only your last question, likely the most relevant to the OP, and coincidentally the easiest on this end (the others are too open for me) :

"Is a choice to engage in a taxable activity a voluntary act?"

Okay. So, I have to make a living in a supposedly "free" society.

This means I need to be able to sustain myself and whichever number of dependents I may have in my family.

A common way to do so is to work and to make some sustained income (sustained: in time) which, once addedd to theirs if any, is exceeding all our living expenses, mine and theirs, over the same period of time, with preferably a non-insignificant remnant of cash on hand to save for future investment (life projects, material acquisitions, etc).

Did I CHOOSE to be taxed on the income I make while I'm working? Not really. Democratic processes have made that choice for me, instead.


I can also choose NOT to play the game of (taxed) self-reliance and try to find my way to work around it :

1) to become a criminal, or 2) to work for the state, or 3) both, or 4) to not declare my taxes on an income made "under table" while still in the "private sector" (basically, same as #1 since I'm not supposed to ignore or break the law)

So, my bottom line answer would be yes, I suppose:

yes, it's a voluntary act to engage in a taxable activity (as I did).

Only thing is : that's quite a bitterly made one when you don't agree with the underlying principle and still accept to abide to it. Or so perceived, on this end, anyway.

"Your Mileage May Vary."


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Allow me to incorporate an analogy

using the 16th Amendment. The language of the 16th Amendment reads income from whatever source derived which means income has a source:

Does value have a source?
Does value have more than one type of source?
Does income derive from value?
Does a source of value determine whether or not any of its derivatives are income?
Is there only one type of value or can things be valued differently?
If there is more than one type of value does income only derive from a certain type of value from a specific source or type of source?

Furthermore, I have previously commented:

Premise: Human beings act.
Premise: Value does not exist in nature.

Conclusion: All value derives from human action.

If that is true does all value derive from only one type of human action?

man you sound like mises'

man you sound like mises' retarded cousin

Master Pretzel Twister

If ...

BILL3 is comparing me to Mises I must be doing something right. Thanks for the compliment.

Cyril's picture

I'm not sure where you're trying to draw me to

I'm not sure where you're trying to draw me to, but just to be clear: I've heard about all this "value / source / income" definitions debates, and I'm just not interested. No offense, maybe that's just me, but it's mostly all signal vs. noise, IMO. Sadly, noise prevailing.

I don't approve, even less advocate any form of taxation, in the very principle, no matter what the expert linguists will try or be capable to achieve at the linguistic level to distract common sense's attention:

taxation is simply the usage of the force of law to TAKE - thus, FORCEFULLY - a fraction of people's earned or saved wealth - be it material or not - to redistribute it or reuse it for something that could be any time, in any place, and INDIVIDUALLY be rejected - on moral, logical, or both grounds - by the same people it was taken from.

And EVEN IF, as it's often the case, the tax payers MAY HAVE found the idea defensible initially or to some limited extent they have lost "control" of. Very anti-liberty and anti-free choice, to my taste.

Now, the core idea to defend it usually is that it allows (allegedly / as advertised) for taking "better" care of the more or less general public interest vs. the individuals' (who were forced into it).

Too bad.

Those who like to nitpick, more or less cleverly, on the "value", "source", "income", "wealth" definitions, usually to defend the idea of a meaningful "income tax", may or may not convince you that the 16th Amendment is in fact defensible morally and logically re: the specific point of a clearly defined income tax, but then:

... how come no one is ever capable to prove that THE INTENT AND PURPOSE are, ALSO, anyhow beneficial, let alone defensible?

In other words, to those I say:

"Fine, you have proven to me you can clearly define how, when, and what you can take from me for whichever agenda. Super cool. Now I understand my IRS tax forms! Wunderbar. But you still haven't proven SH.I.T that it is any beneficial to ANYBODY to pursue those. So, may I see?"

And we never get to see.

Too bad, huh?

Or am I missing something?

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius


"I've heard about all this "value / source / income" definitions debates"

Please provide a source for the question does value have a source ...

"I'm not sure where you're trying to draw me into"

Perhaps I can recommend something to entertain you as I withdraw from the conversation ...

Cyril's picture

Does value have a source?

Does value have a source?

It's not as difficult to answer as it seems:

yes, the value of something can have a source, albeit as much intangible as it is unavoidable; for one simple example that can come to mind:

the supply/demand law at works on (more or less) free markets is such intangible, ambient, implicit and implied "source of value", and for many things:

the price of something is simply whichever that anyone is willing to pay for it.

Say, if eBay is by any measure a representative facet of the supply/demand law as the "source of value" of my phone (that I have custody of) - the forces of demand vs. supply on eBay for this particular phone model (and age) may not be most interesting for me, but it is as legitimate as the status of the same demand vs. supply laws at play elsewhere.

Now, work, labor, innovative ideas, studies conclusions, initiatives, experiments, are (just IMO) more difficult to sketch as objective, reliably meaningful "sources of values" - because I think they are more prone to observer bias and one's own definitions of "source" and "value", or where, when, how, and why is it relevant to define, to begin with.

For me, the taxation topic, income tax or other kind, is easier to process : I question, focus, and I beg to argue against its principled intent and purpose, TO BEGIN WITH, rather than merely the soundness of clearly delimiting the scope of its definition.

My point is :

let's not fool ourselves, with enough efforts, arguments, and time (and... money), I suppose one could theoretically convince everybody else that what once called the "left" (side) ought to be called "right" (side), and vice versa.

Now, once that's done : does that make really a difference, in the same physical world - besides for descriptive purposes - when choosing to stay on the road or fall in the abyss?

You may have succeeded in redefining right side vs. left side cleverly, say swapping them, but there will still be a wrong way vs. a safe way to go - those, UNCHANGED!

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

I did not ask

if it was difficult to answer or for an answer. I asked for a source of the question.

Cyril's picture

Sure. If you really insist for an example, I can give at least 1

Sure. If you really insist for an example, I can give at least one where the author observably did ask himself the question "does value have a source" and attempted to answer it in a definitive manner.

And - how lucky we are! - he did find the definitive answer (that there is a only one, direct or indirect, single, source of value), and also the problem and injustice it brings, and - how even luckier we are! - the definitive solution :


I suspect that by now we have a reasonably significant number of clues that "his findings", and proposals, haven't worked out as great as one would hope for, though.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

From your first link:

Section titled "Origins of the labor theory of value":

The labor theory of value has developed over many centuries. It seems clear that there is no one originator of concept, but rather many different thinkers have arrived at the same conclusion independently ... "

It would appear Marx is pretty far down on the list of thinkers, interesting you chose him. If all value derives from human action and labor is only one type of human action it would appear value can derive from more than one type of human action. That in and of itself rules out any single type of human action theory of value.

Cyril's picture

It's only a disastrous intellectual fraud that's lasting, still

It only just so happens that Marx theories are among the last, chronologically (~ 150 year old) but also the most lasting still to date, completely fraudulent, and that led many times to disastrous and inhumane conditions of the people who subjected themselves to those, not very different from what tyrannical kings and oligarchies of the past would do.

I'll make a post of its own some time later to deconstruct this specific lie, its pivot, and how it came to stick and overwhelm so many inattentive, reckless minds :

"The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men. Labor produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally."

(Marx, 1844)


To explain the normality of exploitation, Marx describes capitalism as having an institutional framework in which a small minority (the capitalists) oligopolize the means of production. The workers cannot survive except by working for capitalists, and the state preserves this inequality of power. In normal role of force is structural, part of the usual workings of the system. The reserve army of unemployed workers continually threatens employed workers, pushing them to work hard to produce for the capitalists.

Exercise for the reader : find the common, shared fatal flaw (or rather, gross deception) which appears in the statements made in every of the four English sentences (of last quote).

Background clue #1 :


Background clue #2 :


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

Voluntary income tax?

Voluntary income tax? To date, that still sounds like an oxymoron to me.

"Voluntary" vs. "tax". Isn't taxation - of whichever kind - implemented by some force of law (be it formal or not, verbal or written, or whatnot) by definition?

(It's a bit like talking about "loving rape", if one asks me... Bear with me, it's just I like language to stay as simple and as literal as possible.)

Btw, maybe this is not-so-remotely relevant; a while ago I had another issue with a related, and quite challenging concept, as I rediscovered (after Rothbard) :

Does it even make ANY sense to speak of PUBLIC debt ?


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

We are Voluntold

We are Voluntold

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!” – Samuel Adams

The courts have interpreted

The courts have interpreted it as involuntary, so unfortunately it is involuntary.

Ventura 2012

Boneless Chicken

has a recent reception rating below zero (-0.7)

and has at least 2 posts with lots of negitive down votes. Not sure how much weight I would put behind his viewpoints.



The article is in line with my research into the topic. The key appears to be getting out of the system after filing even once.

There is a differnce between being not paying income taxes as a legal matter and not paying actually being practical for the average American. Clearly individuals can avoid paying taxes and not go to jail. However, its difficult and very impractical for most at this time.

You're a nut go 2.13 mph

and a review of your posts shows that. For example the one about a weaponized drone hitting the pentagon on 9-11. If you want to con people do it on your own dime, don't post your garbage here. "getting out of hte system after filing even once"

I'll go ahead and ask you to post up proof that someone has ever done that.


"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

What did hit the pentagon?


"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown