Harebrained Tax Schemes

The Truth about Frivolous Tax Arguments is the Internal Revenue Service’s response to anyone who contemplates arguing on legal grounds against paying their fair share of taxes. It discusses and rebuts many of the more common frivolous arguments made by individuals and groups that oppose compliance with federal tax laws.

This 74-page document is updated at least once a year by the IRS and is designed to help individuals and groups understand their responsibilities and not violate the law.

The document explains many of the common frivolous arguments made in recent years and it describes the legal responses that refute these claims. This document is available on IRS.gov and will help taxpayers avoid wasting their time with frivolous arguments and incurring penalties.

In 2006, Congress increased the amount of the penalty for frivolous tax returns from $500 to $5,000. The increased penalty amount applies when a person submits a tax return or other specified submission, and any portion of the submission is based on a position the IRS identifies as frivolous.

A section of this document explains the penalties that the courts may impose on those who pursue tax cases on frivolous grounds. It should be noted that the cases cited as relevant legal authority are illustrative and are not intended to provide an all-inclusive list relating to frivolous tax arguments.