Portland, OR asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Tax Law for Oregon

Q: Why do we pay income taxes when the US government has failed to keep the borders secured and gives illegals free money?

There are countless confirmable reports of illegal immigrants not only being invited to illegally migrate into america, but the US government is actively working on legislation to allow their permanent residency here and financial support through the american taxpayer system, directly going against the united states constitution which states that one primary job of the national government is to secure the borders against intrusion. Why then should i be required to pay taxes to the IRS on my income? I belive as a citizen of the United States, I am qualified to be EXEMPT from paying income tax starting in the year 2023.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I understand the frustration, but cannot recommend refusing to pay income taxes. There are a few reasons for this:

1. Not paying income taxes is illegal, regardless of one's political views or government policies. The ramifications like heavy penalties and interest make this very risky.

2. Immigration enforcement is complex with many competing priorities. Reasonable people disagree on the best policies. However, no single issue usually overrides basic tax obligations.

3. Government funding comes from taxes and supports services & policies one agrees and disagrees with. There’s no “pick & choose” when it comes to paying taxes.

4. There are legal ways to contest policies one disagrees with, including voting, advocacy, legislation, and legal challenges. But the Constitution obliges citizens to pay income taxes that are properly enacted.

5. Claiming exemption from income taxes without qualifying cause (like low-income status) is not legally valid and will surely trigger IRS enforcement action.

In summary - I cannot advise anyone to stop paying income taxes as a political protest, even for policies they strongly disagree with. Doing so risks legal consequences while unlikely to achieve the goals sought. Continuing to pay taxes while exploring legal avenues of dissent is the prudent way forward.

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