“Collection Due Process” a Misnomer

“Collection Due Process” is a taxpayer’s first avenue of appeal if the IRS tries to collect. But typically it just rubber-stamps the IRS’s own decision:

In a series of hearings in , Congress heard allegations that the IRS was abusing taxpayers during the process of collecting taxes. The resulting distrust of the tax bureaucracy led Congress to create a special adversary proceeding providing for judicial review of IRS collection decisions. The proceeding is beguilingly titled “Collection Due Process” (and commonly referred to as “CDP”). My study of CDP’s structure, operation, and of 976 court decisions issued demonstrates that it has failed to fulfill its promise. Of the over 15 million collection decisions during the review period, courts have reviewed at most 3,000 and have reversed only 16. That is a reversal rate of about one in a million.

This, according to Bryan Camp, in The Failure of Adversary Process in the Administrative State.

Sheldon Richman at The Future of Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Daily has been examining Constitutionalist tax protester (“show me the law!”) arguments with appropriate ruthlessness in a series of articles titled Beware Income-Tax Casuistry. Now, in The Flimflam of Income-Tax Denial he responds to his critics. These articles are important because they come from a libertarian, anti-tax, anti-state perspective, and because they are a fairly thorough debunking — if any of the show-me-the-law set are capable of being argued out of their beliefs, reading these articles is probably about the closest they’ll get.

The heated reaction in blog land to ’s Associated Press article on war tax resistance has cooled to a snarky simmer in the right-wing blogs.

For instance, Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush wonders “what Gross would say about someone in his San Francisco refusing to pay his city taxes over a moral objection to San Francisco providing sex-change benefits? My bet is that liberals only consider war immoral.” Then he goes on to make a more radical case for collective responsibility than I’m used to seeing in such places:

Be that as it may, I’d like to advise Mr. Gross that the only way he can be morally excused from future American actions is to renounce his citizenship and leave the country with absolutely nothing (yes, that includes no clothes… which might make entry into another nation difficult, but we’re talking about having perfect, liberal morality and so that is a small price to pay). Mr. Gross can’t be excused from moral culpability for actions prior to such renunciation and departure no matter how much taxes he chooses to dodge — you see, in a democratic Republic, we all bear our aliquot portion of responsibility for each and every action of government. Every time a soldier in Anbar pulls a trigger, each of us gains a bit of moral responsibility for where that bullet winds up — true, those who directly ordered the man to pull the trigger bear a larger responsibility than Mr. Gross, but Mr. Gross does bear his portion of responsibility.

Robbie at UrbanGrounds says in response to those who refuse to pay taxes because they don’t want to fund the Pentagon: “I Don’t Think My Tax Dollars Should be Used to Fund the ACLU So I’m going to quit paying my taxes.” When a commenter asks “Do you really not know that the ACLU is supported by its members and not your tax dollars?” a hilarious song and dance begins…

Thanks to Claire Wolfe at Wolfesblog for plugging The Picket Line.