Courts Issues Fines For ‘Frivolous Arguments’ To Avoid Paying Taxes

2003

The U.S. Tax Court imposes nearly $136,000 in penalties on 23 taxpayers for pursuing “frivolous cases” to delay the payment of their taxes. Emphasizing that these penalties are an important tool to help maintain faith in the tax system, the IRS has identified and rejected many claims raised by people who dislike or refuse to pay their taxes, such as filing returns with zeros on almost every line or demanding a refund equal to the amounts withheld from their earnings. In Aston v. Commissioner, the Tax Court imposes a maximum penalty of $25,000 for the first time, finding that a taxpayer’s groundless argument was primarily for the purpose of delay.