Monday, April 16, 2007

Learning sin through the tax code

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:7-8

Internal Revenue code, 26 U.S.C. 6050I:
Returns relating to cash received in trade or business, etc.
(a) Cash receipts of more than $10,000
Any person -
(1) who is engaged in a trade or business, and
(2) who, in the course of such trade or business, receives more than $10,000 in cash in 1 transaction (or 2 or more related transactions), shall make the return described in subsection (b) with respect to such transaction (or related transactions) at such time as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe. . . .

I'm spending many hours learning about tax crimes. I already knew about the requirement that you had to report business cash transactions of more than $10,000, but I never really thought that failure to do that would be a felony. But it is:

26 U.S.C. 7203:
Willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax.

Any person required under this title to pay any estimated tax or tax, or required by this title or by regulations made under authority thereof to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 ($100,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. In the case of any person with respect to whom there is a failure to pay any estimated tax, this section shall not apply to such person with respect to such failure if there is no addition to tax under section 6654 or 6655 with respect to such failure. In the case of a willful violation of any provision of section 6050I, the first sentence of this section shall be applied by substituting "felony" for "misdemeanor" and "5 years" for "1 year".

Before I ran across this, I never had a desire to deal in cash transactions over $10,000. But now I have a perverse desire to do this every day. Of course, I would file the required form each time just to add to the work of the Treasury Department.

Paul was right, "Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

Thank God I don't have $10,000 cash with which to go around transacting.


hermione said...

I'm manwardly fearful and don't want to be impelled to covet. I don't want to receive $10,000 cash ever. Let the IRS find another way to make money.

So this is why they're building all the new FDCs.

Vic said...

Probably, Hermione (daughter of Menelaus?).

There are many more wondrous crimes than are contemplated in our wildest schemes.

hermione said...

Yes; poor Popsy. Mumsy was very lovely, but quite doltish in running off with that metrosexual Greek, Paris. But the gods awarded her to him, so it wasn't her fault. She caused great pain and death to many Greeks and Trojans; but then, she gave them their classical literature. And its fatalistic injustice evidently inspired the Code of which you speak.

Anonymous said...

Tax crimes? Isn't the onerous number of federal taxation regulations and exorbitant taxes in the United States a crime in and of itself? There are a bundle of quotes online that emanate from online query "how long is the u.s. tax code." The quoted politicians cannot seem to agree whether it's one million words or five million words, but the general consensus is that the tax code is too big.

It's a shame the land of the free and the home of the brave is overwhelmed by an irresponsible federal government that taxes and spends too much, and the people seem powerless to effectuate any meaningful change to it. If we took seriously the Constitution, federalism, and the principle of subsidiarity, the greatest portion of tax revenues collected in the U.S. woould be collected by states and localities. And even with a greatly reduced federal government and devolution of power and authority back to the states, I have difficulty conceivably that the state and local governments should tax anymore than they tax now.

Etched on the walls of the IRS building are these thoughtful words from jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Taxes Are What We Pay for Civilized Society." I long for administration with the courage, principle and honesty to scrap the Holmes quote and the U.S. tax code, and put the words of President Calvin Coolidge on the Treasury buildings: "Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery." And mean it! Ron Paul would do that.

Lauren said...

I don't think Ron Paul would spend tax dollars to engrave trite platitudes on government buildings--at least I hope not!

Be sure to tune in to the GOP debate May 3--online and interactive--eight spendthrift Republicans and the one and only Ron Paul. You'll see what a stand-out he is.

Maleah said...

People should read this.