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09/28/2004 Archived Entry: "Larson Rose"

Thanks to Pat T. for alerting me to this item: Testimony of Larken Rose Offered to Grand Jury (on 8/3/04) Regarding IRS/DOJ Investigation. As Claire Wolfe explained in a blog entry of 06/19/2004

"LARKEN ROSE HAS LONG TAUNTED AND DARED THE IRS to prosecute him on tax charges. A year ago, the IRS seized his computers but still hasn't found any 'tax crimes' to charge him with. Recently, Rose began distributing a well-produced, lucid anti-tax CD -- spreading that puppy around by the tens of thousands and making it available on the Web to anybody with a broadband connection and a Flash player. Now -- suddenly -- IRS agents fortuitously find kiddie porn on Rose's computers. Why do I rather doubt this? It seems bitterly ironic that for more than half a century, the fedgov used "tax crimes" to get gangsters whose real crimes they couldn't prove. Now it appears the IRS may be stooping to use that instantly demonizing accusation -- pedophile -- to strike back at people whose 'tax crimes' they dare not prosecute. Agree with Larken Rose or not, he's an articulate, fearless opponent." For a description by Rose's wife of the raid on their house click here.

Larson's tax rebellion hinges on his contention that most people do not owe federal income tax under the laws of the United States; he uses what has been called the 861 or "Income Can't be Defined" argument which seems to conclude that only foreigners owe taxes. (Don't hold me to that statement; even for the noble sake of blogging, I can't bring myself to read tax documents.) Larson writes, "Congress could not, and did not, impose a tax on the income of most Americans, because of the strict limits on federal power imposed by the Constitution. Instead, they imposed a far more limited income tax, applicable primarily to income from certain types of international and foreign commerce, but wrote the law in such a way that it could easily be misinterpreted." (He offers a free download of a report which explains which incomes are legally taxable.) Larson has been conducting an in-your-face campaign against the IRS for years now. See his open letter to the government entitled "Please Prosecute Me" that opens, "I, Larken Rose, have not filed a federal income tax return for 1997 or any subsequent year. This is not because I am protesting any law, or because I do not want to pay my "fair share"; it is because I refuse to be a victim of the biggest financial fraud in history. I also refuse to remain silent while government lawyers illegally defraud my fellow Americans." I don't quite know what to think of the fellow, who seems to have an Irwin Shiff complex in his desire to be arrested as a tax rebel. But Shiff adamantly rejects Rose's 861 approach, saying "The 861 argument is a totally erroneous argument. But what is amazing is the convoluted lengths to which its advocates go in seeking to explain why this irrelevant Regulation was worded in such an obscure manner." Harry Browne dismisses the argument as well.

Nevertheless, the prosecution of Rose along with several others who have used the 861 argument to avoid paying taxes indicates that the IRS is baring its teeth and sharpening its claws.

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