tax protesters argue that taxpayers are not required to file
tax returns because of the National Paperwork Reduction Act
of 1980, 44 U.S.C. § 3501, et seq. ("PRA").
The PRA was enacted to limit federal agencies' information
requests that burden the public. The "public protection"
provision of the PRA provides that no person shall be subject
to any penalty for failing to maintain or provide information
to any agency if the information collection request involved
does not display a current control number assigned by the
Office of Management and Budget [OMB] Director. 44 U.S.C.
of this contention claim that they cannot be penalized for
failing to file Form 1040, because the instructions and regulations
associated with the Form 1040 do not display any OMB control
The Law: The courts have uniformly rejected this argument
on different grounds. Some courts have simply noted that the
PRA applies to the forms themselves, not to the instruction
booklets, and because the Form 1040 does have a control number,
there is no PRA violation.
Other courts have held that Congress created the duty to file
returns in section 6012(a) and "Congress did not enact
the PRA’s public protection provision to allow OMB to
abrogate any duty imposed by Congress." United States
v. Neff, 954 F.2d 698, 699 (11th Cir. 1992).
Relevant Case Law:
United States v. Wunder, 919 F.2d 34 (6th Cir. 1990) –
the court rejected Wunder’s claim of a PRA violation,
affirming his conviction for failing to file a return.
Salberg v. United States, 969 F.2d 379 (7th Cir. 1992) –
the court affirmed Salberg’s conviction for tax evasion
and failing to file a return, rejecting his claims under the
United States v. Holden, 963 F.2d 1114 (8th Cir.), cert. denied,
506 U.S. 958 (1992) – the court affirmed Holden’s
conviction for failing to file a return and rejected his contention
that he should have been acquitted because tax instruction
booklets fail to comply with the PRA.
United States v. Hicks, 947 F.2d 1356, 1359 (9th Cir. 1991)
– the court affirmed Hicks’ conviction for failing
to file a return, finding that the requirement to provide
information is required by law, not by the IRS. “This
is a legislative command, not an administrative request. The
PRA was not meant to provide criminals with an all-purpose
Lonsdale v. United States, 919 F.2d 1440, 1445 (10th Cir.
1990) – the court found that the PRA “is inapplicable
to ‘information collection request’ forms issued
during an investigation against an individual to determine
his or her tax liability.”
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.
welcome your comments,
questions and suggestions.