Edited by Frederick Mann
© Copyright 1994, 1997 TLH, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
by "J. Otis"
Note: The approach I'm using is based on the book Vultures in Eagles Clothing.
[Editor: To order Vultures in Eagles Clothing, visit Robert Cohen's website. This site contains a wealth of Freedom Technology, as well as some recommended changes to the form letters provided by Lynne Meredith in Vultures in Eagles Clothing. Both Robert Cohen's and Lynne Meredith's businesses are examples of "Sovereign Businesses," not subject to terrocrat "jurisdiction." They are also examples of how to make money promoting freedom.]
I am a computer specialist and an independent sub-contractor, who works through a contract programming firm (for purposes of this article, I have fictionalized my company's name to "CompuProTech, Inc."). My odyssey through the Internal Revenue Code began seven months ago, when I was looking for ways, as a self-employed person, to minimize my tax liability.
I read books by "experts," attended seminars by more "experts" and (in the words of Omar Khayyam) "came out by the same door as in I went," no wiser than before. So, I decided to take the plunge and research the Code myself.
As I did so, I noticed some strange things. Many definitions of terms in the §7700 section of the code seemed to be circular, and some important terms were not actually defined in the current editions of the Code. As I tried to do a "flow trace" of the definitions in the Code, it began to remind me of many 30-year old "spaghetti" COBOL programs I often have to debug.
About that time, I received my first set of tax-reports, which suggested that I may not be liable for the income tax at all. I sent for Vultures in Eagle's Clothing, the excellent and comprehensive book by Lynne Meredith. After I read the book, I understood the Code in the context of relevant Supreme Court cases and other Titles of the U.S. Code. Based on that book and my previous research, I concluded that I, as a sovereign Citizen of one of the 50 states and a non-Governmental employee, am not legally liable for the 26 USC (A) §1 graduated income tax.
Risk and Reward
Now, I had a decision to make. If I had my own business, I could simply file my Affidavit of State Citizenship, stop paying taxes, cease filing 1040 returns, and wait to see if the IRS bothered to notice. However, since I had taxes withheld from my paycheck, that option was not readily available to me. I was warned, in various reports and verbally, of the risks facing me if I took a high-profile approach. As one person said, "The law is on your side, but the guns are on the IRS's side!"
After much soul-searching, I decided to file exemption certificates with my company and to accept whatever risk came with that decision. There are several reasons why I decided to do so. First, while I do not believe in boxing lightning with my fists, neither do I believe in skulking around like a criminal in the exercise of my rights. As Emerson said, "I cannot consent to pay for a privilege where I have intrinsic right."
Furthermore, the experience of my father's life, and of my own, has convinced me that one does not necessarily purchase safety by "keeping one's nose clean" and "staying out of trouble." My father tried that, and it did not protect him from career reversals in late middle age. More recently, I was "downsized" out of a job shortly after receiving a superior performance review and a large merit pay raise.
I have learned a fundamental truth, which has penetrated to the marrow of my bones. The truth is that there is no safety in life, that "security" is an illusion, and that we lose our souls in the search for it (for an excellent discussion of this idea, see The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts). Indeed, the most secure people I know are those who know their rights, who have discovered their personal power, and who are prepared to stand upon both.
How I Succeeded
Having made my decision, I filed a "Commercial Affidavit" asserting State Citizenship and Sovereignty at my local county courthouse. I then filed a W-8 form (Certificate of Foreign Status), a "Statement in Lieu of W-4" and other forms documenting my exempt status with my company.
After one pay cycle, I noticed that taxes were still being withheld from my pay. I telephoned my company's payroll department, and discovered that my paperwork had been sent to the Legal Department. I called that office, and found that the lawyers were utterly confused by my documents. Evidently, they were flummoxed by the W-8 form. "Why," they asked, "is he claiming 'foreign status' when he is an American?" I responded to them with the following letter:
"The purpose of this letter is to answer your concerns about the truth of my sworn statements regarding withholding status for tax purposes. You may verify the above by sending the enclosed letter, copies of all of my documentation and the attached Affidavit of Authority and Indemnity to the Internal Revenue Service Center (via certified mail, return receipt requested). The cover letter invokes the legal doctrines of "clean hands" and "estoppel by acquiescence," thus providing CompuProTech, Inc. with legal protection from any possible IRS retaliation.
"Since the IRS has no legal authority to require you to continue to withhold from my paycheck, you should expect no response to the letter. However, IF YOU DO RECEIVE either the attached Affidavit, or any other correspondence from the IRS, demanding that you continue to withhold taxes from my paycheck, please forward a copy to me. I will show any such letter to the U.S. Attorney. Depending upon its contents, I will file criminal charges against the IRS Agent who signs it, including (but not necessarily limited to) 26 USC §7214 and 18 USC §241 and §242 for felony perjury, theft by deception, fraud by inducement, material misrepresentation, duress, coercion, violation of civil rights, malfeasance of office under color of law and extortion using the mail system. Contrary to popular misconceptions, there is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO LEGAL IMMUNITY for any IRS Agent who commits perjury or acts outside the scope of his/her authority.
"In closing, let me state that I both sympathize, and absolutely concur, with your desire to obey all applicable Federal laws and regulations. The burden of my argument is that the 26 USC (A) §1 graduated income tax DOES NOT APPLY TO ME. I am fully prepared to defend my position, under oath, before any judge and jury in America. Meanwhile, I will do everything within my power to protect the legal position of CompuProTech, Inc.
"If I can be of further assistance, please contact me.
The "enclosed letter" and the Affidavit of Authority and Indemnity (referred to above) were modeled after those in Vultures in Eagles Clothing. I also enclosed a copy of my Commercial Affidavit, a two-page summary of my legal arguments (following this article, on page 11), and a six-page Memorandum of Facts, Points of Law and Authorities, providing ample documentation of my legal position.
Three days later, I received the following letter from my company's Legal Department:
"Dear 'Mr. Otis,'
"Re: IRS Withholding Exemption Certificate" Please be advised that in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Regulation Section 31.3402(n)-1, CompuProTech, Inc. will not deduct and withhold any tax under Chapter 24 of the Code from your wages as requested by you pursuant to your Withholding Exemption Certificate dated July 24, 1994. You should also be aware that, as required by IRC Regulation Section 31.3402(f)(2)-1(g), CompuProTech, Inc. will forward to the Internal Revenue Service your Withholding Exemption Certificate together with a copy of all written statements received by CompuProTech, Inc. from you in support of the claims made by you on the certificate.
"If you have any questions regarding this matter, you may contact our office at (###) ###-####. Thank you.
Associate General Counsel"
As the letter stated, corporations must routinely send Withholding Exemption Certificates to the IRS on a quarterly basis along with their Form 941 reports. Therefore, study the law and be thoroughly prepared before you act!
To further secure my legal position, I have obtained opinion letters from attorneys and CPAs supporting my status as a non-taxpayer. In addition, I am taking the prudent step of protecting my assets from illegal seizure.
Further, I have filed with the IRS a Freedom of Information Act request for all files they have on me. I am aware that there are certain codes in their files which indicate whether or not one is liable for the graduated income tax. (Hint: Code MFR-01 means you are not required to make or file a return). If the IRS ever decides to take me to court, those codes would be powerful legal ammunition.
[Editor: There have been many cases where the IRS terrocrats have prosecuted a tax victim for not filing, even though in their computer system they had classified the victim as "not required to file."]
Also, I have applied, to the IRS, for a refund of my last three years' income taxes via 1040X returns. At best, I will get my money back, and, at worst, I have forestalled any threat of an audit of past tax returns. If the IRS wants to audit my 1040X returns, let them! They won't be able to disallow them, as the law is on my side.
In the same envelope, I also served the IRS with a true copy of my Commercial Affidavit and my legal Memorandum. I have given the agency 30 days to respond, after which the doctrine of estoppel by acquiescence prevails. I have yet to hear from the IRS. We shall see what happens.
A Broader Perspective
Obviously, we all want (and have the right) to keep the fruits of our labor. Clearly, no person or institution has the right to deprive us of them without our consent. However, to me, there are other considerations involved.
The income tax, and the welfare system it supports, assume that adult citizens are neither generous nor mature enough to voluntarily help others. The system operates on the Calvinist assumption that people will not do what is right unless the government cocks a pistol to their heads.
My own experience is very different. I have observed that psychologically secure and personally powerful people are also loving and generous people. They help others because that is how they feel; that is the way they want to be and act. Such people think in terms of surplus and not scarcity. Whatever they give is not lost, because they can always replenish what they give by their own productive efforts.
The New Testament says that "perfect love casts out fear." I don't know if that is true, but I do know that the reverse is true. People who are fearful, anxious and self-absorbed cannot love others impartially. Mature and powerful people give help where it is needed, and also creatively work for the betterment of their society. It is only the needy, dependent and immature who are stingy and ungenerous. I have decided that, as an adult, I do not need the government to extort money from me or to decide, on my behalf, who deserves my help. I am mature enough to make those decisions on my own. Accordingly, I have started tithing 10 percent of my salary to worthy causes of my own choosing. Why did I choose 10 percent as a figure? It is a traditional proportion, and it is a place to start. Over time, I will review my giving patterns, and adjust my giving to reflect my values and the changing needs of myself and others.
There is an additional perspective that I consider helpful. I recently attended a retreat where, with other participants, we explored the concept of "selfless service." The conference leader expressed it as "the soul 'on-call." The idea is that we stand ready to offer service, help and/or assistance as the situation requires it. This is very different from ego-driven anxieties about being a "bad person" if one does not help. It is also different from "reform" movements, which are usually driven by infantile "magical thinking" and unconscious drives toward domination and control over others.
A Biblical example of "selfless service" is the New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan. In the story, the Samaritan was not running around, looking for lost wretches to help. He was going about his affairs, when he noticed a man bleeding by the roadside. He rendered assistance, saw to it that the man was properly cared for, and went along his way. The Samaritan simply did what he had to do because it needed to be done.
My own experience tells me that, as we grow older and leave youthful anxieties, insecurities and ego-compensations behind, we naturally grow toward "selfless service." For this, we do not need "hell and sin" preaching, and we surely don't need 30 to 40 percent of our salary stolen from us!
If you are currently working for (or through) someone else, you can get withholding legally stopped. You will have to do your homework, and you must be prepared to explain your arguments to your employer, concisely and understandably. Indeed, if you cannot explain your position to someone else, that may be a hint that you do not understand it yourself!
If you choose to do as I have done, you must be psychologically and spiritually prepared to stand upon your rights. To me, it is essential to have a sound philosophy of life, so that you can keep things in proper perspective.
SUMMARY LETTER TO PERSUADE EMPLOYER TO STOP WITHHOLDING
by "J. Otis"
[Note: This summary letter is not a "stand-alone" letter. Anyone using it should be sure to attach to it their affidavits and all other legal citations, so that their position cannot be dismissed as "frivolous." This letter is an "executive summary" which explains the essence of the matter, so that the recipient does not have to plow through 20 pages of dense legal argumentation to understand it. This letter worked for me and I offer it to others who may need it.]
[Your company's name]
Subject: Summary of Legal Arguments Regarding Withholding Status
To whom it may concern,
The purpose of this letter is to summarize and explain, as concisely as I can, the legal arguments supporting my claim to be exempt from the 26 USC Subtitle A §1 graduated income tax. Attached to this letter are all of the case law and statutory citations needed to substantiate my claims. My argument can be reduced to the following:
* The 26 USC Subtitle A, §1 graduated income tax applies only to Federal employees and residents of Federal enclaves.
* The Sixteenth Amendment gave Congress no new power of taxation. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly defined "income" as gain severed from capital.
Words of Art
As you may know, a statute must contain definitions of important words and terms; otherwise, it is "void for vagueness." In a statute, a word means precisely what the statute says that it means. A word, in a statute, can have a meaning very different from the "plain English," common-sense meaning of the same word. In legal parlance, such specially defined words are called "words of art." In the attached documentation, I list many of the "words of art" used in the Internal Revenue Code. Suffice it to say here, that if words like "state," "individual," etc. meant in Title 26 what they mean in ordinary English, the whole statute would be blatantly unconstitutional. Title 26 is constitutional, because these terms have been redefined as "words of art," so as not to run afoul of the Constitution and case law. Most of these definitions are contained in Title 26 itself, but some are contained in previous editions of the Internal Revenue Code, or in other Titles (Titles 4 and 5 being prominent examples).
Another thing to remember is that the word "include," in statutory construction, means only those things referred to, unless the words "including, but not limited to" are used.
As we will remember from our civics classes, the Constitution gave Congress exclusive, absolute jurisdiction over Federal territories, including Washington, D.C. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Congress is not bound by the Constitution when legislating for these areas (see Hooven v. Evatt 324 U.S. 674). What many of us do not realize is that, by signing 1040 forms and Social Security applications, we unwittingly declare ourselves "Federal citizens" subject to the untrammeled authority of Congress. Since nobody told us this when we signed these documents, we may, at common law, legally rescind all such signatures on grounds of constructive fraud and non-disclosure of pertinent facts. I have done so in my Affidavit.
Also, if you enter a plea in Federal Court, you are placing yourself under the jurisdiction of that court, whether you really belong there or not.
Because of the way "words of art" are defined in Title 26, anyone not living in Washington, D.C. or a Federal territory or enclave is a "foreign person" and a "non-immigrant, non-resident alien" for purposes of the Title. This does not mean that one was born in another country, or lives abroad. It means that one is not a "Federal citizen." After all, the states are "foreign" to one another and to the Federal government (see Black's Law Dictionary). That is why I filed a W-8 form with you. That is also why I filed a statement "In Lieu of W-4." The W-4 is the wrong form for non-Federal citizens, and the IRS will impose a $500 fine upon those who use it to claim EXEMPT status.
The 16th Amendment
Doubtless, you were also taught in your government-controlled schools that the 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to lay a direct, unapportioned tax upon compensation for labor. That is dead wrong. I am sorry to have to attack well-established belief systems, but the facts "are what they are." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the 16th Amendment conferred no such power. After all, the 16th Amendment did not specifically repeal the original taxing clauses of the Constitution, and the Constitution cannot contradict itself! Therefore, the Court has ruled that the Amendment was simply a "perfecting" amendment (see Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. 240 U.S. 1). Further, the Court has also repeatedly ruled that compensation for labor in the 50 states is property upon which an "excise tax" cannot be imposed (see Eisner v. Macomber 252 U.S. 189).
Once again, none of these rulings apply within Federal territories. To repeat: the 26 USC (A) §1 graduated income tax is constitutional because it is limited to "Federal citizens" and "Federal areas" where Congress is not bound by the Constitution and may legislate as it pleases.
"State" vs. state
Just as there are two "United States," so there are two of every state. The Buck Act (incorporated in Title 4 USC) redefined "the States" as "words of art" to include (only) Federal enclaves within the 50 states, legally ceded by the state legislatures to the Government. So, when the Internal Revenue Code says that such-and-such a provision applies to "all the States," it is right! What most people don't realize is that this does not mean North Carolina, California, etc. -- it means "Federal enclaves within the 50 states."
If you are somewhat confused after reading this for the first time, do not feel bad. Confusion is the normal response to new information that challenges one's fundamental view of reality. Yes, I know; my arguments directly contradict everything you were ever taught. The largest obstacle is not legal but psychological. However, in law, FACT and TRUTH are sovereign, and, in the end, all opposition (legal, psychological or otherwise) must yield to their resistless sway.
I hope this summary and enclosed memorandum help you better understand the legal action I have taken. If I can be of further assistance, please contact me either by mail or at my daytime telephone (###) ###-####.
[Editor: For expert assistance in dealing with IRS terrocrats, you may want to contact American Rights Litigators, 2390 Old U.S. Highway 441, #3, Mt. Dora, FL 32757. Phone: 352-383-9100. Fax: 352-383-0808. Email: email@example.com.]
Report from Someone Who Tried to Stop Withholding
I was recently fired by an 'employer' with whom I had gone through the motions of terminating W-4 agreements, etc. The day following the receipt of my [then] latest written disposition, the hot-tempered boss fired me on the spot as I arrived to work.
I called EEOC [thinking about Taco Bell], and was informed that "EEOC no longer deems SSN suits to be within [their] scope of operations. [They] only deal with Title 7 complaints that have to do with discrimination based on [blah blah blah blah]."
The Problems with the Usual Approach
Dear Sovereign Desiring To Escape The Tyranny Of Withholding:
I have been promising to get information out for weeks about withholding. However, something kept stopping me every time. The standard approach to stopping withholding is to follow the law. This means supplying your boss with a minimum of the following:
1. Two copies of a document called "Statement of Citizenship In Lieu Of W-4." 2. A sample transmittal letter to the IRS.
Sometimes people preface this with a statement based on 26 CFR 1.1441-5, "Claiming to be a person not subject to withholding." People also sometimes supply their boss with a few quotes from Title 26, 26 CFR, Publication 515, etc.
Here is the basic problem. You give your boss a couple of documents which say, in effect, "I am a citizen of the United States of America; so I don't have to pay federal income tax." Step back and think about this for a minute. Is this any different from giving your boss a statement saying, "I am a human being so I don't have to be bothered coming to work -- just mail my check." Are not each of them EQUALLY RIDICULOUS on their face?
Yes, you have studied and read and written and responded and learned more than you thought you ever could about taxes, the Constitution, law, etc. But think about this -- how many times have you sat back and thought your mind must be playing tricks on you? Why? Because how could so many people be working under a complete misunderstanding of the situation, having half of what they make stolen from them?
Now imagine that you know absolutely nothing more about taxes than the average boss and you have a subordinate. By definition, the subordinate is a bit of a rebel and an independent thinker who sometimes comes up with what appears to be "wacky ideas." Or maybe you are about to hire someone new who you know absolutely nothing about. So one day the subordinate comes up and says, "I'm an American so I don't have to pay tax and I have proof!" He proceeds to show you all kinds of legal gibberish trying to get you to believe seemingly wacky things like:
1. You don't live in the United States. 2. You're not an employer. 3. He's not an employee. 4. The Federal Income Tax is for federal employees only. 5. The IRS is not even a government agency. etc., etc., etc.
What is your reaction as the boss in this situation? Be honest! The guy must be crazy, on drugs or both, right? It is just too much of a leap to take from where your consciousness is to where the subordinate's is. You tell him that he should get a good night's sleep and forget about stopping withholding.
But why do you as the boss in this situation care about withholding from this guy's check? Because you "know" that the money has to be withheld. You "know" that if you don't withhold it, the IRS can make you pay it since you were responsible for collecting it.
Your subordinate then tries again. He shows you the transmittal letter asks, "Why not give it a try? If they disagree, you can keep withholding!" So what's wrong with that? What's wrong is that he is asking you to send a letter to the IRS which, in your mind says:
This idiot here thinks he doesn't have to pay federal taxes. I am just as big of an idiot for even wasting a stamp on this since I know this is utterly ridiculous.
Schmuck Business Owner"
What else do you fear as the boss in this situation? You fear that somehow the IRS might decide that YOU are a trouble maker, and pull the old suprise audit routine on you and your business.
So here is a summary of the problems: 1. Your boss thinks he knows more than you. After all, he's the boss. 2. our boss knows that you know your job, but doesn't think you know squat about tax law, etc. 3. There is far too much mental distance between where your boss's head is and where you want it to be. (Severe Cognitive Dissonance.) 4. Your boss has no real incentive to take the action you want. If you threaten him with suit if he withholds, that only tends to make him more upset with you. And if you continue to press the matter, it only serves to annoy, rather than to motivate.
Terry W. Stough's Solution
1. Bring in an outside source of information to educate the boss. 2. Place the focus of the knowledge not on you, but on dozens of reliable sources all of which back up your position. 3. Provide your boss with overwhelming evidence which he mentally must integrate into his belief system. 4. Provide him with major incentives outside of any threats that you might sue, etc. if he continues taking your money.
Once I identified the problem and the solution, I clearly saw what needed to be done. It had to be a lot more than just supplying a few forms.
Here Is The Solution: 1. A person wanting to stop withholding supplies me with essential information. 2. I use that information to create customized forms and an information packet for the individual and his boss. 3. I send the package certified mail restricted delivery, return receipt requested to the boss and a copy to the individual.
Here are some options:
Now, what incentive do we use to motivate the boss to review all of the materials and take action? The key, I believe, is to use as the primary motivator the fact that the boss is actually breaking numerous federal laws by withholding and can use this as a justification to the IRS. After realizing what laws your boss is inadvertently breaking, he then has a powerful motivator to get him to seek the truth in these matters.
Here are the components of the Withholding Package:
In total, this package is 60 pages in length per copy! Two copies of the above are prepared, one for you (sent regular mail) and one for your boss/company.
I have priced these so as not to lose money on the time and expense necessary to produce these packages. The investment for the package is 25 FRNs. That includes certified mail fees, postage, etc. For additional workers requesting customized forms (items 10 and 11 above) with the original package, the cost is 5 FRNs each. This means that if two of you go in together, your cost is 15 FRNs each. If four from the same company go in together, the cost drops to 10 FRNs each.
The following information is required together with FRNs, check or money order: 1. Full name and address of worker(s) desiring to stop withholding. 2. Full name of boss. 3. Name and address of company. 4. State where you currently reside. 5. City and state where you were born. 6. Your date of birth. 7. Your phone number and a time you can be reached in case of questions.
These can be sent to:
Terry W. Stough
9118 Carroll Manor Drive
Atlanta, Georgia PZ 30350
If you do not state otherwise, this package will be sent to your boss with your name(s) included. If you want to use the anonymous method, please so indicate.
Note that you may become the company hero if you are successful. Once you get out of the system, everyone will want to escape! You will also be doing this country a great favor. If we can get enough people out before they get brainwashed into accepting the National Sales Tax / Flat Tax Fraud, we can as Deputy Barney Fife used to say:
"Nip it in the bud!"
Terry W. Stough
The American Resistance Movement
DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer and claim no special expertise in these
matters. Charges are for customizing, printing, mailing, and preparing
the packages only. I cannot be responsible for any actions your boss might
take. People have been fired trying to do it the old way. In my opinion,
this method gives you the best chance for success with a minimum of risk,
especially if you use the "anonymous method."
Downloaded from the Personal Empowerment Resources Web-Site: http://www.mind-trek.com/