- Days left

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

Those opposed to paying federal income taxes often claim that the whole system is optional and they choose not to participate in it. They claim that there is no law requiring them to pay taxes and they demand that someone show them the law that requires them to pay income taxes.

Well, okay. Here's the law: Section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. "There is hereby imposed on the taxable income of [insert status of taxpayer – single, married, etc] ..., a tax determined in accordance with the following table..."

Additional sections of the tax code elaborate on the requirement to file tax returns and pay taxes. Nowhere in the tax code is there anything about taxes being optional. And yes, the tax code is in fact the law of the land regarding taxes in the United States.

You should also note that you can't get out of paying taxes by saying that you don't understand what or how to do it. That doesn't wash with the IRS. Find a tax preparer.

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

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

A Tax Filing Factsheet for eBay Sellers

You can find almost anything for sale on eBay, from a piece of fine art to clippings of Justin Bieber?s hair. So it's no surprise that the IRS doesn't view all sellers alike in the online marketplace. You may not have to pay tax at all if you are essentially hosting an online garage sale, but if you run your eBay account more like a business, you should be reporting your sales to the IRS.

Tax Tips for Handymen and Odd Jobs

If you work as a handyman or do odd jobs around town for money, you are operating a business in the eyes of the IRS. Since you own your own business, you're likely a self-employed sole proprietor. This means you'll have lots of potential tax deductions to investigate.

Identity Theft: 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Identity and Keeping it Safe

As more personal information continues to be stored online, the risk of identity theft also increases. In 2014 alone, the Bureau of Justice reported that 17.6 million U.S. residents experienced identity theft. If someone uses your personal data pretending to be you, it's a serious crime. With quick, decisive action, you can help discover the fraud, stop further damage and reclaim your identity. Here are six steps to get you on your way.

Need More Tax Time? File a Tax Extension

If you need more time to complete your taxes, file a tax extension, but don't miss out on your chance for a tax refund by not filing at all. Learn more about tax extensions from this 2012 infographic!