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The fifty thousand dollar reward

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The Anti-IRS News
The Anti IRS News is a publication and copyright of Bill Conklin, Tax Consultant, 3296 Raleigh St., Denver, Colorado 80212; (303) 455-0837; FAX (303) 480-1799; Information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. E-mail:; Find Bill Conklin’s Web Site on the World Wide Web:
Volume 11 Issue 2 February, 2006


Bill Conklin, a pro-se litigant and tax litigation paralegal in Denver, Colorado has offered a $50,000 reward for almost twenty years for anyone who can show him: (1) What statute makes him liable to pay an income tax and (2) How he can file a tax return without waving his Fifth Amendment Rights.
Over the years many individuals have applied for the reward and one individual, Charles Ostman, sued him in Federal District Court in Seattle Washington in 1992. Conklin won the case based on contract law. The Court ruled that Conklin had the right to be the judge of whether or not the questions were answered correctly and since Conklin informed Ostman that he had answered the questions incorrectly, Conklin had not violated a contract with Ostman by not paying him the reward.
Most of the answers to Conklin’s challenge came from individuals who were completely off base on the law. However, two famous attorneys answered Conklin’s challenge. The first response came from the famous attorney Melvin Belli. Mr. Belli stated that Section 6012 of the Internal Revenue Code makes Conklin liable to pay the income tax. Conklin responded that if one interprets the word “shall” to be mandatory, that Section 6012 of the Internal Revenue Code could be interpreted to require individuals to file returns, but it certainly does not make individuals liable to pay a tax.
Mr. Belli’s most interesting response however was his theory on how Conklin could file a return without waiving his Fifth Amendment Rights. Mr. Belli suggested that Conklin go to an attorney and give the attorney the power of attorney to file his return for him. The attorney would file the return and use a number known only to Conklin and his attorney. The attorney would sign the return and pay the IRS out of his trust fund account. When the IRS contacted the attorney , he would assert attorney client privilege in lieu of identifying his client.
Conklin responded to Belli with a great deal of gratitude as Mr. Belli had indeed answered the question as to how Conklin could file without waiving his Fifth Amendment Rights. However, Conklin asserted that the IRS would not count the return as filed until the attorney waived the attorney client privilege. For example, if the IRS were to proceed criminally against Conklin for willful failure to file, Conklin’s defense of course, would be to call the attorney to the stand to testify that Conklin had filed through his attorney. Once the attorney waived attorney-client privilege he would waive Conklin’s Fifth Amendment Rights. So, although Belli certainly had a creative idea, he proved Conklin’s point which is that individuals who file federal tax returns waive their Fifth Amendment Rights..
Another famous criminal defense attorney, Bill Cohen, also applied for the reward. Cohen felt that the way Conklin could file a return without waiving his Fifth Amendment Rights would be for him to file two returns. He would file one return that contained the mathematical figures and assessment without a signature or any identifying information. He would file another return that contained his identifying information and signature but asserted the Fifth Amendment on the financial information. Although Cohen’s idea was a great idea, it showed beyond a doubt that the government has a Fifth Amendment problem with the income tax filing requirement. Conklin pointed out to Mr. Cohen that if the IRS were to proceed criminally, he (Conklin) would be forced to waive his Fifth Amendment Rights and testify that he had filed a return with all the financial data. He would have to waive his Fifth Amendment Rights to make it clear to the IRS that he did file a return.
Conklin has also tested his theory with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. About twenty years ago, he filed an unsigned return that contained financial information and payment. However, he gave the IRS District Counsel the power of attorney to sign the return for him if they could do so without waiving his Fifth Amendment Rights. The lower Court Judge told Conklin that if he ruled in Conklin’s favor he would overturn the Federal Tax System. After five years he ruled against Conklin. He determined that Conklin’s Fifth Amendment Argument is frivolous because the Fifth Amendment applies only to “compelled testimony.” The court took the position that a tax return is not compelled or required. The Circuit Court upheld the lower Court and sanctioned Conklin $6,000 for arguing the frivolous argument of law that individuals are required to file returns. Conklin appealed the sanction arguing that it is not unreasonable for a person to think that filing returns is compelled by the government. He also asked interested people from around the country to write to the Tenth Circuit and thank them for ruling in Conklin vs. United States of America that tax returns are not compelled testimony and to send in a contribution to help pay the fine. So there you have it, filing tax returns is either voluntary and the Fifth Amendment doesn’t apply, or it is required and the Fifth Amendment does apply. After twenty years, the reward still stands. It does seem that the government has a problem with the filing “requirement,” doesn’t it?


Those of you who think that the IRS can make you give them information have another look coming. Yes, the Fifth Amendment Rides Again!!!!!
The IRS initiated an investigation of an individual to figure out his liability. When they discovered that he failed to file a return, they issued a summons requiring him to appear for questioning. The individual appeared but stood on the Fifth. The IRS went to court to get him nailed for contempt. The guy did it just right, he invoked the Fifth in response to each individual question. Any information that is given by an individual is a link in a chain of evidence that could be used for prosecution of a criminal violation of the tax law.
Anyway, this guy blasted the fascists. Take a look at Sharp, 920 F2d 1167 (4th Cir. 1990).
Now, how can the IRS require individuals to file 1040 Returns when no District Court who knows anything, or no Court of Appeals who knows anything will make a guy who hasn't filed cough up the beans? A tax return is just a summary of information that would be requested at a summons meeting!!!!!!!!!
Obviously there is not a conflict here because we have a voluntary tax system.
Now I have a homework assignment for everyone. Please do the following.
Write to the Attorney General in Washington DC and ask him the following:
Dear Sir (Madam): I have noticed that the IRS constantly refers to the income tax system as a "voluntary tax system." They maintain that compliance is "voluntary."
I have a very important question. Is compliance with the drug laws voluntary or is it mandatory. If it is mandatory, then what is the difference between "voluntary compliance" in respect to the income tax and mandatory compliance in respect to the drug laws?

Obviously, I can voluntarily restrain myself from snorting crack or shooting heroin. Please explain!!

The write your congressperson and ask her the following question. Several people have tried it and the congress person either refuses to respond or tells them to see an attorney.
Dear Congressperson:
If you will look in the 1040 Instruction Booklet for the year 1991, you will see the IRS Privacy Act Notice. The Notice says that the IRS can give any information that I give to them to the Department of Justice, obviously for use in a criminal tax case. Therefore I have two questions to ask and I would appreciate an immediate reply.
1. Do I waive my Fifth Amendment Rights when I file a tax return?
2. If so, what statute requires me to waive my Fifth Amendment Rights?
Your immediate reply will be appreciated.

Joe Patriot



Several years ago, a guy who had a real high position in the CIA was asked if its surveillance of protest organizations violated the First Amendment. He said: "It is only an Amendment." When another FBI official was questioned about the same issues, he said: "We never gave it a thought."
The Bill of Rights will not be defended by government officials, it must be defended by the people. The IRS is not going to defend the Bill of Rights if the CIA and the FBI won't do it.
Not many people, even those who have been in the Freedom Movement for some time, have any understanding of exactly how the Bill of Rights came to be. When our new government adopted the Bill of Rights in 1791, it was not excited about it. The Bill of Rights was simply a political tool to shut- up the critics of the Constitution. People feel safety in the Bill of Rights but the Government Officials simply do not take it seriously and they never have.
For example, in 1791, the Bill of Rights passed and stated that Congress "shall make no law..abridging the freedom of speech." But seven years later, Congress passed a law abridging the freedom of speech and press in the Sedition Act of 1798. People could get jail sentences if they criticized the government. The law was appealed to the Supreme Court and it was not declared null and void. In other words, in times of near war, the First Amendment can be ignored. Just like the Fifth and Fourth Amendments can be ignored in times of taxation.
In our political culture, you can't have freedom and democracy, if you are challenging the tax system or the political system. So exactly when the Bill of Rights is needed, the government ignores it.
In 1917 as armies of the youth of various nations were murdering each other in the First world War, the United States decided to send its own youth to the butcher. Congress passed another Sedition Act which provided heavy sentences for those who criticized the war. One filmmaker made a movie called "The Spirit of 76" and he was sent to jail. The title of the Court case is U.S. vs. Spirit of '76, if you are interested in reading it. And then the 50's, Mr. McCarthy came along. It was our own Congress that set up the House Un-American Activities Committee and jailed those who refused to bow to their authority. The Supreme Court upheld the convictions of the Hollywood Ten for invoking the First Amendment. All three branches of government totally ignored the Constitution.
If we left the Bill of Rights to the institutions of government, it would be dead. The only thing that keeps the Bill of Rights alive is the brave men and women in our country who challenge the government when it violates our freedoms. If it weren't for the few of us who are willing to challenge the system for the rest of us, the Bill of Rights would be dead for sure.
Remember the '60's and the Viet-Nam War? Thousands of people demanded that the killing in Vietnam Stop. We stopped it too! After the war, the protestors who have resisted the United States military intervention in Central America, the brave patriots who have continued to challenge the IRS, and on and on. These are the people who give meaning to the Bill of Rights; it is not the government that gives meaning to Freedom, it is you and me and each and every one of us.
Unfortunately the Bill of Rights really do have little meaning as long as we have a class society with enormous differences of wealth. The rights of free speech depends on having the resources to use them. The right to legal counsel is different for rich and poor. The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is different for a family living in a mansion than for one living in a housing project.
Aldous Huxley once said: "Liberties are not given, they are taken." The Bill of Rights does not give us liberty. We take our rights. Let us celebrate, not the political leaders of this country, but let us celebrate the brave individuals who have done the best they could to "take liberty." Just meditate for a moment on the people who have given so much, so far in the Freedom Movement; we must carry on their tradition. A just and equitable tax system that follows the restriction of the Bill of Rights is not something that our government will give us. It is something that we must give our government, and then we must be constantly aware and fight hard to maintain it. So now, think for a minute: What are you doing, personally, in your own life, to become a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. Think about it and if you are now sitting on the fence, you just may decide to do something to help. You don't have to take great risks. Here are some suggestions.

1. Become a client.

2. Place ads for us in the local newspapers.
3. Call your local radio talk show hosts and get them interested in interviewing us.
4. Write to your congressperson and ask the following three questions:
1. Do I waive my Fifth Amendment Rights when I file a tax return?
2. If so, what statute requires me to waive my Fifth Amendment Rights?
3. If not, then why does the IRS 1040 Instruction Booklet warn me that information given on 1040 Tax Returns can be given to the Department of Justice obviously for use in criminal tax cases?
5. Stop waiving your Fifth Amendment Rights on April 14 and file at least one legitimate lawsuit against the IRS every year.
6. If the IRS attacks you, fight them every step of the way. Make them fight with a mile's worth of effort to gain an inch.
If you help in any way you can with some or all of the above suggestions, you will be able to hold your head high and know that you are doing what has to be done in a Free Society. You are defending freedom against the tyranny of government. The solution lies in your hands.
The Romano Case
The Second Circuit rendered a decision that could stop prosecutions for tax evasion when an individual has not filed a return. Go to the library and pick up a copy of U. S. v. Romano, 938 F.2d 1569 (2 Cir. 1991). Let's take a look at some of the great language in Romano:
Moreover, Romano's subsequent failure to file a tax return cannot by itself support a finding that he affirmatively attempted to evade his taxes. A person cannot be convicted of tax evasion merely on a willful omission;
...Failure to file a tax return in circumstances such as these, where such an omission is obviously not intended to conceal from the government the amount of money in dispute, does not logically imply an attempt to evade taxes.
...What is clear is that whatever Romano's specific reasons may have been for not filing the 1983 return, an attempt to evade taxes was not one of them, for there was nothing to conceal from the IRS, except possibly some incriminating information as to the source of the income--information that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
...However, given that Romano was required to provide only the bare minimum of information under Sullivan, to protect his Fifth Amendment Rights, information which the government already had and which Romano knew the government had, we cannot accept the government's claim that Romano's failure to file under these circumstances has probative weight in establishing the more serious crime of tax evasion.

As you can see, the language of the Circuit Court is really strong. Most patriots who have been convicted of tax evasion were either W-4 or 1099 types of individuals. That means that the government clearly knew how much money they made. Is it possible that this decision could kill tax evasion charges against patriots? Maybe we will soon see much less criminal litigation in this arena. Anyway, for now, get the case and read it. The courts protect real criminals before they will come to the rescue of an honest patriot. They must think we are dangerous or something!!!

Dear Willie:
Recently the IRS seized my house and put it up for sale. They listed the house in the local newspaper. I decided to put an ad in the paper next to the IRS ad stating that I would file a Quiet Title suit against anyone who purchased the property and informing the public that if I won the suit, the IRS would not reimburse them for the lost funds.
Believe it or not; the newspaper refused to place my ad. They said that the ad might prevent the IRS' sale and they would have to call the IRS to ask permission.
Obviously the newspaper is afraid of an audit from the IRS. What a shame that there is no First Amendment anymore because everyone is so scared of the Gestapo!

Quiet Title

Dear Quiet Title:
I am sorry to hear your story, but I am not surprised. Just show up at the sale with flyers. Ask the Revenue Officer to speak, if he won't let you, just pass out your flyers and sit and watch.
Thanks for writing.


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