Over the years, I have watched several
individuals being prosecuted in federal court for failure to file tax
returns. These individuals find themselves prosecuted
because they have no idea what defenses are available to them.
What usually takes place is that the United
States Attorney will introduce an employee of the Internal
Revenue Service as a "expert witness" and
proceed to show that the defendant had taxable income. The proof
offered to the court through witnesses is that the defendant has on file
with the IRS his/her W-2 Forms. Usually the line of
questioning for the witnesses will continue for the purpose of showing
the jury that the defendant relied upon personal beliefs and opinions
that had no foundation in tax law.
When it comes time to present the
case for the defendant, you should recall the IRS "expert
witness" to the witness stand and re-affirm that IRS
W-2 Forms have been filed. You will also need to question
the witness as to how a tax law is brought into effect by
regulations so that you can introduce the Federal Register into
The laws of the United States
cannot be implemented until the executive department adopts
regulations that interpret the law and for a regulation to be adopted,
it must be published in the Federal Register. In
regard to the tax laws, the forms to be used to collect the
taxes were published in the Federal Register on September
Looking to page 177A-39,
we find that the IRS Form W-2
is located under section 601.2(g). Here we find that
the W-2 Form may be used as an optional income tax
return by employees in lieu of IRS Form 1040:
Continuing on to page 177A-41, we find
the IRS Form 1040 which states
that it is the Form to be used as an individual income tax
return. This Form is to be used "unless
Form W-2 is filed:"
You will find these sections of the Federal
Register codified at 26 USC 6011
wherein the code states:
6011(a) General requirement of return, statement, or list.
(a) General rule. When required by regulations
prescribed by the Secretary any person made liable for any tax imposed
by this title, or for the collection thereof, shall make a return or
statement according to the forms and regulations
prescribed by the Secretary. Every person required to make a
return or statement
shall include therein the information required by such forms or
The term "statement"
as used in 26 USC 6011(a)
means the IRS W-2 Form.
You will need to locate the full text of the Federal
Register so that you can introduce it into the court as
evidence. You may find the Federal Register in
a depository library of your state (usually at
the state capital) or at your law library.