It will be interesting to see what unintended consequences spring up now that an IRS official has exercised her right to avoid self incrimination by pleading the Fifth.
Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division that singled out conservative groups, invoked the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Following her example, will we see a flurry of invocations of the Fifth by taxpayers when they're dealing with the IRS?
Aren't many penalties assessed by the IRS based upon information contained in "voluntarily" filed income and employer tax returns? If the IRS didn't receive those returns it couldn't assess penalties based on errors or omissions contained in them. Taxpayers are incriminating themselves by filing tax returns, aren't they?
If taxpayers plead the Fifth, will they be able to avoid filing self incriminating tax returns?
It would lead to chaos if our system of government permitted citizens to exercise the same rights and privileges as those enjoyed by our political leaders and bureaucrats. Our founding fathers never intended that mere citizens should have the same rights as civil servants and bureaucrats to avoid self incrimination in tax matters. We are not equal under the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS has what it takes to take what we have... as God intended. Citizens do not have what it takes to take anything from the IRS. This is part of the genius behind our system of government... separation of tax and state. If you find yourself in a potentially incriminating situation with the IRS, remember the two cardinal rules:
Rule #1: The IRS is smarter than you are, therefore it is always right.
Rule #2: If you think the IRS has made a mistake, refer to Rule #1.
If you find yourself in a pickle with the IRS, don't take the Fifth. We recommend that you drink a fifth. You may not get better results, but they will be quicker.
Thank you for your attention,
Citizens for Tax Complexity