Yes, Virginia, There is an Income Tax

It’s that special day again. To quote Homer Simpson, “Look at all those morons! I paid my taxes over a year ago!”

Whether you’re paying your taxes today, paid them in January, or plan not to pay them at all, there are a few things we should all be clear on. Yes, taxation is theft. Yes, the income tax is too high. (Anything above 0% is too high in my book.) And yes, there really is a law requiring you to pay an income tax.

You’d think that wouldn’t be controversial, but “tax honesty” hucksters like Irwin Schiff and Larken Rose have confused a lot of libertarians and other freedom-loving Americans about the law or lack thereof. The late Aaron Russo’s documentary America: Freedom to Fascism only compounded the misinformation, but a lot of people I know accept it as the unvarnished truth.

For the real unvarnished truth, I recommend George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Siegel’s thorough debunking of the no-such-law myth.

There really is a tax law. Maybe you can avoid paying your taxes without getting caught — and more power to you! — but don’t be fooled into thinking there is no law requiring you to pay them.