The IRS Obligation to File For You Hoax
By: Bill E. Branscum
Copyrights 2002

The proponents of the argument that the IRS has an obligation to file returns for those who elect not to contend that section 6020(b) obligates the IRS to prepare a federal tax return for a person who does not file a return. Thus,those who subscribe to this contention believe that they are not required to file a return for themselves.

The Law: Section 6020(b) merely provides the IRS with a mechanism for determining the tax liability of a taxpayer who has failed to file a return. Section 6020(b) does not require the IRS to prepare tax returns for persons who do not file and it does not excuse the taxpayer from civil penalties or criminal liability for failure to file.

Relevant Case Law:

United States v. Lacy, 658 F.2d 396, 397 (5th Cir. 1981) – the court, in upholding the taxpayer’s conviction for willfully and knowingly failing to file a return, stated that “ . . . the purpose of section 6020(b)(1) is to provide the Internal Revenue Service with a mechanism for assessing the civil liability of a taxpayer who has failed to file a return, not to excuse that taxpayer from criminal liability which results from that failure.”

Schiff v. United States, 919 F.2d 830, 832 (2nd Cir. 1990) – the court rejected the taxpayer’s argument that the IRS must prepare a substitute return pursuant to section 6020(b) prior to assessing deficient taxes, stating “[t]here is no requirement that the IRS complete a substitute return.”

Moore v. Commissioner, 722 F.2d 193, 196 (5th Cir. 1984) – the court stated that “section [6020(b)] provides the Secretary with some recourse should a taxpayer fail to fulfill his statutory obligation to file a return, and does not supplant the taxpayer’s original obligation to file established by 26 U.S.C. § 6012.”

Once I have time to link all the foregoing cases and post them to this site for your review, you will note that these cases tend to have a common thread. The appeals are filed pro se; no self respecting lawyer would walk into a federal court and make these ridiculous arguments.

I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

© Copyright 2002 - Bill E. Branscum. All Rights Reserved.