I don’t know why I even looked at the email. It was from i-Books announcing the new releases for March. As I scrolled down the list, a blurb caught my attention. “This intriguing political thriller raises questions about income taxes.” Okay, I was hooked and investigated some more.
The book is The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry and will be released March 31st on iTunes, Kindle and on paper in bookstores. More from i-Books:
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.
This isn’t a new argument. The 16th Amendment has long been cited by tax protestors as a reason that the US income tax is illegal. There are actually two arguments. The first is based on the contention that the amendment was never properly ratified. The second asserts that the amendment does not authorize direct non-apportioned federal income tax.
Both arguments are what the IRS calls frivolous tax arguments. There have been numerous court cases which affirm that the 16th Amendment and federal income taxes are legal. Taxpayers who try to use any frivolous tax argument can find them with penalties that start at 20% of the tax up to $250,000 and jail time. The IRS has a complete discussion of all the frivolous arguments on their website.
There are other novels about taxes. Bruce Bronstein has two; Full Disclosure and The Pardon that deal with tax fraud and evasion. Then, Diane Kelly has a series of novels and novellas about Tara Holloway an agent in the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division. I'm sure there are others. But The Patriot Threat could make my life interesting at the end of the tax season.
The Patriot Threat is being released at the end of March. I am sure that Mr. Berry will be making the rounds of the talk shows and news programs to promote his book. After all, it’s great timing. What talking head could pass up a book about the possible illegality of the tax code at tax time? All that exposure will mean that I will get calls from clients and non-clients who will hear an interview and call wanting to know how to get their tax money back. They will ignore any disclaimers that it’s a novel and swear that what they heard was true. As if this tax season wasn’t crazy enough.
I guess I’ll have to read the book. After all, it’s tax deductible. Right? It’s an education expense so that I know what people are talking about.