Do you have a right to privacy? Well, according to the Bill of Rights Amendment 4 you have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizures” and the 5th Amendment states that you cannot be a witness against yourself. So how do those amendments effect you when dealing with non-judicial branches of the government, such as the IRS?
Well, the bottom line is none of it means a thing when going against the IRS. You are required to keep records and report them to the IRS. This was held up by the Supreme Court in 1927 in US v. Sullivan when a man refused to file a tax return on the ground it could incriminate him. The problem in interpreting how you get your case handled by the IRS are the words “unreasonable” and “criminal”. Amendment 5 only applies to criminal law, while most IRS tax cases fall under civil law. And we all know that “unreasonable” is open to interpretation.
The only option when it comes to taxes is to always have your records available. Remember, that the IRS does not need your cooperation to obtain some records, such as bank statements, because they can always get them directly from the bank. Short of creating your own country on a deserted island (remember other countries require tax returns also), your only option is to make sure you are paying the least amount legally possible to the IRS. Give us a call and we can help you put a strategy in place to keep more of your money in your own pocket. And we won’t be unreasonable about it!