You know you have to
Thrifty government-conspiracy theorists have put forth dozens of rumors questioning the legality of the income tax: The 16th Amendment, which established the income tax, never was properly ratified. Federal income tax only applies to military bases and Washington, D.C., not to the states. A little-known law states that paying taxes is voluntary. Under the Fifth Amendment, no one is required to file testimony on himself or herself, including tax forms. The theories go on and on, but the courts have ruled that most of them are wishful thinking. (Criminal wishful thinking.)
Unless you’re prepared to challenge the Supreme Court’s understanding of the Constitution, it’s probably best just to file your taxes. With the April 15 deadline fast approaching, now is the time to seek tax help if you need it. Luckily, several organizations around town offer free tax advice.
AARP Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest volunteer-run tax counseling program. It offers free help to all middle- and low-income taxpayers, with special attention to people ages 60 and older. The AARP Tax-Aide program offers daily workshops through April 15 at more than 30 locations in the Sacramento area. For a complete schedule, call (916) 448-1000 or visit www.aarp.org/taxaide.
For weekend tax help by appointment, contact American River College. Internal Revenue Service-certified student volunteers will offer free tax counseling to the community, including instruction in Spanish, Laotian, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Russian, French, Arabic and American Sign Language. Appointments are available every Saturday through April 17 from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Call (916) 568-3100 and dial 12334 at the prompt to make an appointment.
Now isn’t that easier than declaring yourself a tax-exempt, one-person church?