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Tax Excuses

The power of the web. I uncovered this Ďtax excuseí site which lists hundreds of (apparently) real court cases where the defendants had to explain why they didnít pay their taxes. Some of these are a riot. I mean, everyone would have a valid reason for not paying, right? The intention of everyone is to pay whatís owed, in an honest and timely fashion, correct? Yeah, SSuurree. Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorites along with their associated legal indexes.

  • I was worried over my wifeís mental condition. [Ashby v. Comm., T.C. Memo 1959-113.].
  • We didnít know that we were required to report the money we embezzled as income on our tax returns [Clark v. Iowa Dept. of Revenue & Finance, 2002 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 93 (8 May 2002).].
  • I didnít file my tax returns because I was an illegal alien (The petitioner had earned close to a million dollars while working as a physician during the 5 tax years in question). [Zamora Quezada v. Comm., T.C. Memo. 1997-481.].
  • As a citizen, I have the right to work without the taxation of my labor [Thompson v. Director of Revenue (Case No. 97-002383-RI, Missouri Admin. Hearing Commín, November 17, 1998)].
  • I was convicted and imprisoned for not filing my 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 Federal income tax returns, and after my release from prison I had difficulty compiling my records so I didnít file my 1993, 1994 and 1995 Oregon state income tax returns [Pinski v. Dept. of Revenue, 14 OTR 376, 1998 Ore. Tax LEXIS 45 (Oregon Tax Ct., No. TC 4237, 1998).].
  • I have an obsessive compulsive disorder which caused me to hoard every piece of paper and object with which I came in contact, so my husband and I were too disorganized to file our tax returns on time [Laberge v. United States, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1354, 2000-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) Para. 50,223 (E.D. Mich., 2000).].
  • I didnít file my income tax returns for 1987 or 1988 because I was afraid that doing so would draw attention to the fact that I had not filed for 1986 [In re Application for Admission to the Bar (Stransky), 431 Mass. 678; 729 N.E.2d 1085 (2000).].
  • When I was a student at Notre Dame I contracted encephalitis and I now have a neurological disorder which causes me to sleep 20 hours a day (Defendant was an accountant who filed tax returns for his clients during the 13 years when he failed to file his own tax returns) [United States v. McCaffrey, 181 F.3d 854 (7th Cir. 1999).].
  • I attribute my tax filing failures to my stupidity and to the fees I owed to my tax accountant at the time [Matter of Anonymous, Defense Office of Hearings & Appeals, ISCR Case No. 99-0563 (18 February 2000).].
  • I defer to my wife on financial matters because her income is greater than mine, but she has a tendency to go off on spending binges, and I wasnít strong enough to make her pay the taxes [Matter of Anonymous, Defense Office of Hearings & Appeals, ISCR Case No. 97-0352 (10 October 1997).].

There are plenty more located at Madtbone but these did provide a chuckle. But it goes to show that taxes arenít always boring.

Mark Schuster, Partner

April 25, 2014

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