A New York Times article on , though mostly about the “show me the law” tax protester movement, included this interesting item:
Some years ago, the IRS did pursue organizations that publicly declared they would not withhold taxes. One prominent case was a church with a national following, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple.
Unlike churches that accept tax-deductible donations, the church contended that it answered only to God and not to any government, and therefore it was not required to withhold taxes from its employees’ paychecks. The IRS demanded payment, and federal judges ruled that the church owed $3.6 million in taxes for , plus interest. Federal marshals seized the parsonage on and are authorized to seize the church itself, which members are now occupying in protest.
The rest of the article concerns businesses that had stopped withholding taxes for their employees, under the theory that their employees didn’t owe these taxes. The implication of the article was that these employers were getting away with it because the IRS was neglecting to go after them. (The protesters own theory was that the IRS was not going after them because they were in the right and the agency had no authority to do so.)
But here is what has since happened to the tax protesters mentioned in the article:
- Al Thompson
- Convicted in of 13 tax law violations and sentenced to 72 months in prison.
- Joe R. Banister
- Acquitted in of a count of conspiracy in connection with his work with Thompson, lost his CPA license and was disbarred from representing clients in cases with the IRS.
- Irwin Schiff
- “He has lost several civil cases against the federal government and has a record of multiple convictions for various federal tax crimes. Schiff is serving a 13-plus year sentence for tax crimes…”
- Dick Simkanin
- Convicted in of 29 tax law violations and sentenced to seven years behind bars, then reimprisoned this year for violating the terms of his release (he remains in prison today).