I.R.S. Prohibited By Law From Calling You an “Illegal Tax Protester”

Did you know that the IRS isn’t allowed to call you an “illegal tax protester?” Congress prohibited it in . Go figure. Not only that, but they can’t use “any similar designation:”

And the IRS is required to audit itself (go ahead and giggle) to see if it is complying with this prohibition.

Here’s their latest audit. It appears that “constitutionally challenged” is the favorite internal IRS euphemism for tax protesters, as in the phrase “THESE TAXPAYERS ARE TO BE CONSIDERED CONSTITUTIONALLY CHALLENGED AND SHOULD NOT BE INTERVIEWED OR APPROACHED BY ANY IRS EMPLOYEE ALONE.”

In “Tax Protest, ‘A Homosexual,’ and Frivolity: A Deconstructionist Meditation,” Anthony Infanti tells the story of tax protester Robert Mueller.

Mueller is a tax protester who has done time and racked up tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest in his protest of the refusal of the IRS to acknowledge gay family structures in an equivalent way to straight ones.

In the course of telling Mueller’s story, Infanti allows himself to wander over all sorts of interesting ground regarding tax resistance. For example, I found out about the curious prohibition on “tax protester” labels at the IRS by reading this article. Here’s an excerpt about the history of tax protest in the U.S.:

That a stigma is attached to the “tax protester” label may seem odd, given that tax revolts and rebellions have played an important role in the history of the United States. The Boston Tea Party, Shays’ Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, and Fries’ Rebellion were all tax protests. Indeed, the Boston Tea Party and its protest of “taxation without representation” have become iconic symbols in the United States. For example, to protest its lack of representation in Congress, the District of Columbia allows its residents to purchase license plates emblazoned with this slogan, and the District’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention this year replicated the original protest by dumping tea into Boston harbor.…

In addition, , woman suffragists refused to pay taxes in order to protest their inability to vote, metaphorically invoking the “no taxation without representation” slogan from the Boston Tea Party.