Wesley Snipes

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In 2008, Wesley Snipes was criminally convicted and sentenced to three years in jail for not filing tax returns. The years in dispute were 1999-2001, just after the release of Blade, and the total tax bill was around $7 million. He was making a very public political point, so the IRS and Department of Justice had no problem returning the favor and making a very public example of him.

Basically, Snipes and his advisors, Eddie Ray Kahn and Douglas P. Rosile, claimed that the US government could not legally tax him. Kahn (pronounced con…) was a very public anti-tax advocate, who fled to Panama after his indictment and is still in jail for conspiracy to defraud the government. Among their other non-sensical arguments, they claimed that the IRS was not a legitimate government agency and that based on Internal Revenue Code Section 861, Snipes owed no taxes.

Section 861 applies to income of nonresident aliens and foreign corporations, but tax protesters like Kahn take the code section and its regulations out of context and apply them to US residents, which would greatly narrow the standard definition of taxable income. Unfortunately for Kahn (and Snipes), this interpretation completely ignores Section 61, which defines gross income as “all income from whatever source derived.”

Josh Norris