- Days left

Ever met anyone who thought he didn't have to pay income taxes? Maybe he tried to argue taxes are unconstitutional and there are legitimate ways to avoid paying them.

Don't believe it. Wesley Snipes believed it, and found himself in quite a bit of legal trouble. He's been acquitted of the most serious criminal charges, but that doesn't mean he won't have to pay his taxes. The IRS still intends to go after him for income taxes on tens of millions of dollars, and the interest and penalties associated with those taxes won't be cheap.

This week brings news that Nicholas Cage is joining the ranks of famous tax cheats. The IRS alleges he used his business, Saturn Productions, to write off $3.3 million in personal expenses (all those jet trips and limos) and says he owes $814,000 in taxes and penalties. Cage argues the expenses are all security needs.

You may not have a business you can run personal expenses through. But if you've found a "tax protester" who is selling a kit that will help you "legally" avoid taxes, don't fall for it, or you might end up in a world of legal trouble of your own.

Here are the top ten tax lies. These are excuses tax protesters say you can use to legally avoid paying income taxes. The only problem? They're completely wrong:

The IRS is not an agency of the United States

Wages aren't really income

Income tax laws are unconstitutional

Providing tax information is self-incrimination

My religion prohibits me from paying taxes

A taxpayer isn't really a person

If you're not a citizen, you don't have to pay taxes

You owe no taxes if you file a zero return

Paying taxes is optional

Filing a tax return is optional

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.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

How much house can I afford

Home buying 101, evaluating one of your most important financial decisions.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

What is a Schedule Q Form?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has two very different forms that go by the name Schedule Q. One of them is for people who participate in certain real estate investments; this is known as a Form 1066 Schedule Q. The other Schedule Q deals with employer benefit plans. It?s not something an individual taxpayer would normally have to deal with, though a small business owner might need it.

Incentive Stock Options

Some employers use Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) as a way to attract and retain employees. While ISOs can offer a valuable opportunity to participate in your company's growth and profits, there are tax implications you should be aware of. We'll help you understand ISOs and fill you in on important timetables that affect your tax liability, so you can optimize the value of your ISOs.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum