The United States Code (USC) consists of 51 “Titles”. Each “Title” deals with a different subject matter. For example, Title 26 deals with internal revenue tax laws.
Roughly half of those 51 Titles have been enacted into “positive law”; about half have not.
Title 26 has not been enacted into positive law.
A friend mine, Dick Clark, passed away a few years ago. He’d been at war with the IRS for most of 20 years before he passed, and had written a book on the subject. As part of his research, Dick asked the National Archives for a list of those Titles in the USC that had been enacted into “positive” law and those Titles that had not. The National Archives provided the requested list.
I never saw the list. But Dick told me that, surprisingly, of the 51 Titles on the National Archive list—only one, Title 26, had an asterisk and associated footnote at the bottom of the list. The footnote said something like “Title 26 is identical to the Internal Revenue Code”.
The implication was extraordinary. Title 26 was not the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Title 26 and the IRC were two different documents. Yes, they might be “identical” in terms of verbiage, but they were not identical in terms of authority.
• To illustrate the difference between Title 26 and the IRC, suppose I published Adask’s Internal Revenue Code”. My revenue code could be word-for-word, comma-for-comma identical to Title 26. Nevertheless, while Title 26 would presumably have some legal authority, Adask’s Internal Revenue Code would not.
You and I might enter into a private agreement wherein you consented to be bound by Adask’s Internal Revenue Code, but so long as Adask’s Internal Revenue Code was not published with governmental authority, that revenue code would also be just private law and enforceable (like any contract) only with the consent of both parties to any resulting taxes.
In the case of Title 26 and the “Internal Revenue Code,” Title 26 would apparently have legal authority while the IRC did not. If so, then if you were charged with violating 26 USC 7201 you could be in a lot of trouble since you were charged with violating the public law, but if you were charged with violating Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code you might be in comparatively little trouble since you were only charged with violating some private agreement under private law.
Under 26 USC 7201 you could be charged criminally. Under Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code you could only be charge “civilly”—much the same as you might be charged civilly for failing to repay the debts you’d run up on your credit card. The bank that issued the credit card to you could sue you civilly to collect the unpaid balance due to the bank on the credit card. That’s only fair.
But what if you didn’t have a credit card with that particular bank? Could Bank of America sue you to collect an outstanding balance on a BOA credit card if you never entered into an agreement with BOA to use a BOA credit card?
Similarly, suppose Dick Clark’s discovery is correct that Title 26 and the “Internal Revenue Code” (IRC) are two entirely different “authorities”. Suppose you were charged civilly with some offense under the “IRC” (apparently, private law). If the IRC is private law, you might be able to quash those civil charges if you could defeat the presumption that you have entered into some private agreement with the “Internal Revenue Service”.
I.e., if you haven’t entered into a private agreement with BOA to use a BOA credit card, then BOA can’t sue you for some outstanding balance on a BOA credit card. Likewise, if you haven’t entered into a private agreement with the (private?) “Internal Revenue Service,” then you should not be subject to charges under the private law of the IRC.
The possibility that the IRC may be “private law” is indirectly supported by evidence that the IRS might be an association of private debt collectors rather than a singular, governmental agency. According to Dun & Bradstreet, there are over 44,000 different “private companies” associated with the name “Internal Revenue Service”. (See, http://www.manta.com/mb?search=Internal+Revenue+Service ) Many of those “private companies” appear to be individual IRS facilities. This implies that the IRS is not a singular governmental agency, per se, but rather a conglomerate of “private companies” or even franchises somewhat like different McDonald’s fast food franchises or different H&R Block tax preparation offices.
If this conjecture were true, we’d have one or more private companies known as the IRS enforcing private law known as the IRC.
• IF Title 26 and the IRC are really based on two different authorities (one, public law, the other, private agreement), it would be of enormous legal and political significance. If the IRC did not carry the authority of law, why did it even exist? If Title 26 and the IRC were based on two different authorities, wouldn’t that be evidence that our tax system is based on some fantastic fraud perpetrated by the government against the people?
The problem with all this conjecture is that I don’t recall actually seeing Dick Clark’s list from the National Archives that contained the footnote that indicated that Title 26 and the IRC were two different instruments.
I never doubted Dick Clark’s integrity or intelligence for a moment. But when it comes to law, it’s not what you know that counts—it’s what you can prove. Even if I had the original letter/list from the National Archives, I’m not sure that that instrument would be admissible as evidence in court. Even if it were admissible, I doubt that it would carry much weight.
So, although I have “known” (pretty much) for 10 years that Title 26 and the IRC are two different instruments based on two entirely different “authorities,” I couldn’t prove it.
• But last night on my radio show (American Independence Hour, see http://adask.wordpress.com/radio/ ), my guest (“lloyd smith”) brought Section 204 of Title 1 to my attention and provided irrefutable evidence (not necessarily “proof”) that Title 26 and the IRC are two different instruments.
You can verify this assertion for yourself by visiting Findlaw.com and navigating to “1 USC 204” (Title 1, Section 204 of the United States Code) at http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/1/3/204 . If you do, you’ll find, in part:
“1 U.S.C. § 204 : US Code – Section 204: Codes and Supplements as evidence of the laws of United States and District of Columbia; citation of Codes and Supplements” which include five sub-paragraphs ((a) through (e)). At the bottom of the page (just below sub-section (e), you’ll find a hyperlink labeled “Notes”.
Click on “Notes” and you’ll be taken to another page listing the various historical changes to 1 USC 204 since A.D. 1947.
Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Notes page to the last paragraph and you’ll read:
“TITLE 26, INTERNAL REVENUE CODE
“The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted in the form of a separate code by act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 1. Pub. L. 99-514, Sec. 2(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that the Internal Revenue Title enacted Aug. 16, 1954, as heretofore, hereby, or hereafter amended, may be cited as the “Internal Revenue Code of 1986″. The sections of Title 26, United States Code, are identical to the sections of the Internal Revenue Code.”
That language is somewhat ambiguous and requires serious analysis for full comprehension. Nevertheless, three phrases jump out at me:
1. “TITLE 26, INTERNAL REVENUE CODE” includes a comma to separate the two subjects (“TITLE 26″ and “INTERNAL REVENUE CODE”) from each other. If the two subjects were synonymous, why not use a colon or a dash instead of a comma? Why not put “INTERNAL REVENUE CODE” in parentheses?
It might be going too far to suspect that the use of a mere comma would indicate that Title 26 and the IRC are two different entities. But let’s consider a list of guys who are going bowling next Friday: Bob, Jim, John, Alfred, Alfred, and Wayne. Clearly, Bob, Jim, John and Wayne are separate individuals. But what’s the deal with “Alfred” and “Alfred”? Have we listed the same “Alfred” twice (in which case the 2nd “Alfred” is redundant, confusing and unnecessary)? Or does our bowling team include two different “Alfred’s”?
The comma is normally used to indicate a separation of items in a list. If that’s the proper implication of the comma in “TITLE 26, INTERNAL REVENUE CODE,” then it appears that Title 26 and the IRC are two different instruments.
2. “The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted in the form of a separate code . . . .”
Presumably, by “code” they mean one of the 51 Titles of the United States Code.
Presumably, by “separate code,” they mean one of the separate “codes” that comprise the 51 Titles of the USC.
If these presumptions are roughly correct, the IRC of 1954 was apparently not enacted as an actual “code” (one of the Titles of the USC), but instead enacted only in the “form” of one of the “codes”/Titles of the USC.
The significance of “form” might be illustrated by a comparing the fate of a man who chooses between giving his fiancé an engagement ring with a large diamond and engagement ring of identical form that includes a cubic zirconium. By means of using the identical “form” of the cubic zirconium ring, the man can fool his fiancé and save a bunch of cash (which he can spend when he goes bowling next Friday). His trusting fiancé may be equally impressed by either ring, but if she later discovers that her engagement ring includes a cubic zirconium that’s only in the “form” of a diamond , there’s gonna be some real trouble when she screams “Why did you give me a cubic zirconium engagement ring?!!! Why did you allow me to make a fool of myself in front of all my friends?!!! Why did you deceive me?!!!“ (And of course, “Where can I find a good, bloodthirsty divorce attorney?!!!“)
With regard to the apparent dichotomy between Title 26 and the IRC, the American people might similarly scream, “Why was the IRC of A.D. 1954 enacted in the form of a code/Title rather than as an actual code/Title?!!! What possible purpose could the government have for enacting a ‘form‘ of a code/Title rather than an actual ‘code’–other than to deceive the American people?!!!“
(It’s conceivable that the man giving his finance’ a cubic zirconium engagement ring did so simply so he could screw his purported “finance’. It’s similarly conceivable that our government created the IRC so it could screw the American people.)
The “form” of a “code” only provides the appearance of authority. The “form” of a code might be “de facto” as compared to the “de jure” status of an actual “code”/Title. Insofar as the IRC appears to be a “form of a code” rather than an actual “code,” the IRC may be as counterfeit as a cubic zirconium stone masquerading as a diamond.
• The previous items 1 and 2 (supra) are “iffy”. They could be interpreted as evidence that Title 26 and the IRC are two different instruments. They might also be defended by gov-co as “innocent” statements whose meanings are ambiguous but merely the unfortunate result of a bad choice of words.
But I read item #3 (infra) as extremely strong and unambiguous evidence that Title 26 and the IRC are two entirely different and separate instruments:
3. “The sections of Title 26, United States Code, are identical to the sections of the Internal Revenue Code.”
I’m unable to imagine any way to read the previous sentence without concluding that Title 26 and the IRC are two separate instruments.
Let’s first consider the word “identical”.
I remember that there were two “identical” twins in my grade school: Billy and Bobby Fanter. They were “big kids” (a year old than me). In second grade, they stopped me while I was walking home. They bullied me a little and wouldn’t let me go until I told them a joke. I told a joke, they let me go. (Tough guys, hmm? I grew up on the “mean streets” of Crystal Lake, Illinois (pop. 3,000).)
But that incident caused me considerable confusion and anxiety. I was not simply outnumbered 2 to1, I was facing two “big” kids who looked “identical”. I think it was the first time I’d ever seen twins and I was bewildered.
The point to this anecdote is that while “Billy” and “Bobby” were “identical,” they were not the same. They looked just like each other, but Billy was one person and Bobby was another.
That same principle should apply to understanding the sentence, “The sections of Title 26, United States Code, are identical to the sections of the Internal Revenue Code.” Because the sections of Title 26 and the IRC look exactly like each other, they may be “identical”—but they are not the same. Title 26 and the IRC are just as separate and distinct as Billy and Bobby. Use of the word “identical” illustrates that dichotomy.
The difference between Title 26 and the IRC is further emphasized by use of the word “sections”: “The sections of Title 26, United States Code, are identical to the sections of the Internal Revenue Code.” Technically, that sentence implies that while the “sections” of the two instruments may be “identical”—there is some fundamental difference between the two instruments.
Let’s rewrite that sentence in the Notes to include reference to Adask’s Internal Revenue Code (my private, identical copy of Title 26):
“The sections of Title 26, United States Code, and the sections of Adask’s Internal Revenue Code are identical to the sections of the Internal Revenue Code.”
Q: How many of you doubt that you could be imprisoned for violating section 7201 of Title 26?
A: Virtually no one should doubt that you could be imprisoned for violating section 7201 of Title 26. Insofar as Title 26 is evidence of the Public Law, the gov-co has authority under 26 USC 7201 to put people in prison.
Q: But how many of you think you could also be imprisoned for violating the word-for-word identical Section 7201 of Adask’s Internal Revenue Code?
A: All of you should be smart enough to see that although the words in Section 7201 of Adask’s Internal Revenue Code are identical to the words in Section 7201 of Title 26, nobody should go to jail for violating section 7201 of Adask’s Internal Revenue Code because “Adask” doesn’t have any authority to put people into prison.
Q: OK—then, if the Internal Revenue Code is (like Adask’s Internal Revenue Code) also not enacted as public law, what is the authority of the IRS to imprison folks for violations of their IRC?
A: Apparently, zee-ro.
Thus, the “Notes” published by the federal government at Section 204 of Title 1 of the United States Code includes a reference to “Title 26, INTERNAL REVENUE CODE”. This reference offers compelling evidence that while Title 26 and the Internal Revenue Code may be “identical,” they are as different as Billy and Bobby Fanter.
• I can’t yet prove it, but the only difference that I can imagine that’s worth mentioning between Title 26 and the IRC is that of authority. Title 26 appears to have authority of public law that can be imposed upon you without regard to your consent. (Your consent is implied by your election of various congressmen, senators and presidents who enacted Title 26 as public law). The Internal Revenue Code, however, appears to be private law that (much like an ordinary contract) can have authority over you only if you’ve consented to be bound by that private law.
So—make no mistake. Even though the IRC may be some species of “private law” or “private agreement” and therefore lacks the authority of public law, the IRC can still be civilly enforceable (somewhat like a mortgage) if you have consented to be bound by that private law/private agreement.
Did you borrow money from a bank to buy a home? Did you consent to be bound by the terms of a mortgage? Then, based on your consent to be bound, if you violate your agreement to repay the loan, the bank can foreclose on your house.
But. Based on your private agreement (mortgage), the bank can only proceed against you civilly. The bank can’t proceed against your criminally. You can’t be imprisoned for failure to pay your mortgage. And the bank can’t proceed against you at all, if the bank can’t provide evidence that you have consented to enter into a private agreement with the bank.
Similarly, it appears that if Title 26 and the IRC are two separate instruments (Title 26, evidence of public law; IRC, evidence of (or perhaps even an “offer” to enter into) a private agreement), then you may not be subject to the terms of the IRC unless you have previously manifested your consent to be bound by that private law/agreement.
(This may explain the failure of many defendants to compel the IRS to “show me the law” that compels me to pay income taxes. The IRS typically does not respond to that demand. Why? Maybe it’s because the IRC is not public law; it’s only a private agreement. Maybe the IRS doesn’t show the “law” because, under the IRC, there is no (public) “law“–only a private agreement. If so, defendants might do much better by demanding that the IRS “show me the agreement, contract or pledge on which you base your presumption that I have voluntarily and knowingly consented to be bound by the IRC.”)
• My limited experience with the IRS suggest that virtually all of their claims are expressly based on sections in the IRC rather than Title 26. Insofar as that’s true, virtually all of the IRS’s claims are based on the presumption that the alleged “taxpayer” has voluntarily and knowingly contracted or pledged to be bound by the private law of the IRC.
It’s virtually certain that the IRS has evidence that supports its presumption that you, for example, have knowingly and voluntarily entered into some private agreement to be bound by the IRC. That evidence might include your application for a So-So Security Number, your first 1040, a W-8, etc.. Some or all of these instruments might be construed by the IRS and the tax courts as evidence that you’ve consented to be bound by the (apparently) private law of the IRC.
But what if you could effectively challenge and defeat the presumption that you’d knowingly and voluntarily entered into a private agreement with the IRS (a private debt collector?) to be bound by the private law of the IRC? Could the IRS proceed against you with any more authority than the BOA trying to collect an outstanding debt on BOA credit card that you’d never applied for or used?
And what if:
1) You had sufficient knowledge to prove that Title 26 and the IRC were two different instruments?
2) You could reference Manta.com to show that the “IRS” was apparently a conglomerate of “private companies” (private debt collectors?) hired to collect private debts under the IRC?
3) You could prove that you had never knowingly and voluntarily entered into a private agreement with the IRS under the IRC; that you had always assumed that your signatures had been merely as witness to documents filed under public law of Title 26 and government authority rather than private law? And,
4) You were sufficiently articulate to explain all that knowledge to a jury?
In sum, this list of “what if’s” is not easily achieved. But, would the IRS be inclined to take you to court to collect what might ultimately be proved to be nothing but an alleged private debt?
Would the IRS be inclined to create a public record (court transcript) of a trial wherein the defendant persuaded a jury that he had never knowingly and voluntarily contracted or pledged to be bound by the private law of the IRC?
This conjecture suggests that raising issues concerning the Title 26/IRC dichotomy might be useful for keeping the IRS at bay.
• What’s missing from this article is the “Why?”.
It’s not too hard to read the Notes under 1 USC 204 and conclude that Title 26 is (almost certainly) something other than the Internal Revenue Code.
It’s not hard to presume that the fundamental difference between Title 26 and the IRC is authority. Title 26 seems to be evidence of public laws and therefore carries authority. The IRC, on the other hand, appears to be private law without any authority other than each alleged “taxpayer’s” consent to be bound by the IRC.
But these conclusions and presumptions will remain somewhat unconvincing (especially to others) until we discover why the federal gov-co has been forced to stoop to deceiving the people into paying taxes rather than simply imposing those taxes with genuine authority.
There’s no way that the feds would go to all the effort to devise an IRC that’s substantively different from Title 26, unless there was a compelling reason to do so.
For some reason, the feds couldn’t effectively enforce Title 26 against every American citizen and were therefore forced to resort to the massive and audacious fraud of devising the IRC to accomplish privately what could not be accomplished by public law.
My first guess is that there’s some fundamental (constitutional?) principle that absolutely prevents the feds from subjecting everyone in the States of the Union to the income taxes under Title 26. I’m guessing that in order to extort trillions of dollars from the American people in violation of that fundamental (probably, constitutional) principle, the feds therefore devised the private law of the IRC.
My second guess is that Title 26 might only (or mostly) be enforceable in a criminal proceeding. If so, the high burden of proof required to prove a crime, the difficult issues of intent, and constitutional protections provided to criminal defendants would make it incredibly difficult and expensive for the gov-co to enforce the income tax laws. On the other hand, compared to criminal enforcement, civil and/or administrative enforcement of the income tax laws would be child’s play.
Does the IRC offer the huge advantage of civil or administrative enforcement of violations that would be criminal under Title 26?
Whatever the fed’s reason for devising the IRC as (apparently) private law, discovering that reason may provide the final nail in the IRS’s coffin. Without that reason, trying to argue to a jury that Title 26 and the IRC are “different” will be a tough sell.
OK—maybe we can show good evidence of the Title 26/IRC dichotomy, but the average person is still going to say, “But whyyyy?” Until we can provide evidence of the “why,” the average person (read,”juror”) is unlikely to be convinced that the IRC is a private agreement rather than public law.
Yes, the IRC walks like a duck, but why would the feds go to all the trouble of creating this damn “duck”? What was their reason? What was their motive?
Find evidence of the “why” and we can kill the IRS.
I’ll be looking. You should look, too.
If you find that evidence, let me know.
• We have a ways to go before we can fully stop the IRS. But, by finding evidence at 1 USC 204 that Title 26 and the IRC are two different instruments, we have already come a long ways.
Written at arm’s length by Alfred Adask within the venue of The County of Dallas, within The State of Texas, a member-State of the perpetual Union styled “The United States of America” on April 27th, A.D. 2011.
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The American people might similarly scream, “Why was the IRC of 1954 enacted in the form of a code/Title rather than as an actual ‘code’? What possible purpose could the government have for enacting a ‘form’ of a code/Title rather than an actual ‘code’—other than to deceive the American people?”