Fraud or Free Speech?


The Justice Department is seeking a court order to prevent Michigan tax resisters Peter and Doreen Hendrickson from promoting the idea that you don't owe any federal income tax unless you choose to declare taxable income. The government says their theory has been uniformly rejected by the courts. Even so, barring them from selling books and other literature explaining the theory seems an awful lot like a prior restraint on speech. The case of Federal Mafia author Irwin Schiff, who this year received a 13-year prison sentence for various tax-related offenses, raised similar issues.

Brian Doherty took a look at the state of the tax resistance movement in Reason a couple of years ago.