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This post was written as part of a series on tax excuses that don't work.

While we may all wish this one was true, it's not. Quite clearly, the Internal Revenue Service is a bona fide federal agency and has the authority to collect income taxes from us.

Tax protesters claim that in order for the Internal Revenue Service to be a real agency of the United States, it should have been created through an act of Congress. Because it was not created that way, it's just a private corporation and we don't have to cooperate with them. Or so they say.

Sorry... the Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to enforce tax laws and has the power to create an agency to help him. That agency just happens to be the IRS, and so long as the Secretary of the Treasury wants the IRS to exist, it can and will enforce income tax laws. So when IRS agents come knocking at your door, you better believe that they really are representatives of a Federal agency and they really do have the authority to collect taxes from you.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.


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