The agency defines a "taxpayer" or "person" as an "individual, trust, estate, partnership or corporation." Some people argue that the term "individual" doesn't refer to human beings, but instead to companies.
The IRS has taken a number of people to court for trying to slip under its radar by using this argument. One woman, for example, claimed that she is not a "taxpayer" or "person" in the eyes of the IRS because she is an "absolute, free-born and natural individual," according to federal court documents. Another defendant claimed he wasn't a "Fourteenth Amendment citizen," but rather "a white male Christian with inherent and inalienable rights."
The IRS rejected these claims -- and others like them -- in court, stating that the arguments were "absurd" and that "individuals" obviously include human beings. The agency warns that it will assess penalties of up to $25,000 to anyone who attempts to use this scheme in order to avoid paying taxes.
Worried about getting audited? Don't be a prime target. Here's what the IRS looks for and tips to help you avoid getting singled out.
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