Tax forum scrubbed by congressman

Tax forum scrubbed by congressman

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

It was fun while it lasted, but it didn’t last long. The touted public hearing on the legality of the federal income tax has been canceled.

The tax policy forum was to take place in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 27 and 28 at the behest of We the People Foundation for Constitutional Education, Inc., but the congressional sponsor, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., called it off.

According to a report by World Net Daily, Bartlett told Robert Schulz, chairman of the foundation: “I am quite dismayed by ‘Operation Wait to File Until the Trial.’ I will not be a party to advocating the non-payment of federal income taxes.”

Bartlett said the group’s rhetoric had made it impossible for the forum to take place “because the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice will not participate.”

The foundation, in its public materials had advised taxpayers not to file their tax returns until after the forum. The group maintains the federal income tax is not legal or constitutional, based on its several years of research.

Bartlett said if Schulz wished to provide him with the pertinent questions, he would submit them to the IRS and the Justice Department and would post their replies on his personal website.

The congressman told Schulz he doesn’t believe the two government agencies will refuse to answer his questions. The foundation had expected that the forum would “prove conclusively that the IRS does not have the legal authority to force employers to withhold taxes from the paychecks of their employees, or to force most Americans to file a tax return or pay the income tax.”

In its press releases, the foundation told taxpayers they may be entitled to a full refund of 2001 taxes if the group’s research is publicly upheld. The forum had originally been planned for September but was postponed after the attacks in New York and Washington that month.

As the anticipated public hearing evaporated, another side of the taxpayer revolution was taking place in Auburn, New Hampshire. There, about 20 armed IRS agents, carrying a federal warrant, searched the home and office of Steven Swan, a well-known anti-tax activist.

The special agents seized about 20 boxes of material, including his records concerning his current litigation against the IRS, his client files, documents, correspondence and other records.

No charges have been brought against Swan, although he is under investigation by a federal grand jury. He has been invited to testify before it.

Swan believes the federal income tax has been fraudulently imposed on the American people. He has been trying to publicize that theory since 1996 through seminars and video tapes. He estimates about one million Americans have used his information to quit paying income taxes. He asserts none have been prosecuted.

Approximately one year ago, Swan launched a petition drive to expose what he considers the fraud of the federal income tax. The IRS raid has put him out of business. Swan said he has done nothing more than advise people on tax matters, something done daily by hundreds of attorneys and tax preparers.

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