Man Declares Himself Not a Person, Refuses to Pay Income Tax


Photograph courtesy Alan Cleaver. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Wouldn't it be great to flip the government the bird and declare yourself exempt from income taxes? That's exactly what a Canadian man tried to do. David Kevin Lindsay—who in 1996 declared himself not a person, as defined by the law—recently lost a lengthy court battle over his failure to pay income tax:

According to Thursday's ruling from Judge Frits Verhoeven, Lindsay filed a notice with the minister of national revenue in 2002 denying that he is a "person," and explaining that he ceased to be a "person" in 1996.

Instead, Lindsay argued that he is, "David-Kevin: Lindsay, a full liability free will flesh and blood living man."

In his judgment, Verhoeven rejected the idea that a Canadian citizen can simply opt out of personhood.

"The ordinary sense of the word 'person' in the (Income Tax Act) is without ambiguity. It is clear that Parliament intended the word in its broadest sense," the judge wrote.

Lindsay tried to declare the tax code unenforceable by attacking the legitimacy of the government itself. "If accepted, Mr. Lindsay's arguments would call into question the legitimacy and authority of Canada's constitution and government including its courts. I could be without authority to make the very decisions sought by Lindsay on this appeal… anarchy would prevail," wrote Justice Verhoeven in his decision.

It's certainly the dream of many libertarians to have the ability to opt-out of the tax system and use their money to further the interests of themselves and their families, while letting the socialists pay for the welfare state. As the judge noted, however, this would create an untenable situation for the government, as "the collection of income taxes would become all but impossible."

NEXT: Another Marylander Arrested for Recording the Police

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  1. The "silver bullet" approach to getting rid of taxes is amusing, but quite silly. It's amazing how these people can insist that income tax "must" be illegal, even though the executive, legislative and judicial branches all work together to enforce it. That's the DEFINITION of "legal." I don't like taxes any more than the rest of H&R's readership, but insisting that taxes are illegal even as the entire state apparatus tells you otherwise is a bit like telling the cop who's arresting you that he doesn't really exist.

    The Canadian Taxpayer Federation has a good read on the subject:


    1. True. A better philosophical argument (in the US) would go something like this: "Under what authority can the government tax me"
      Judge: "Under the constitution"
      "Is that a social contract?"
      Judge: "Yes"
      "What happens when one side of the contract fails to uphold its end of the bargain? Article I, section 10 states clearly that states must accept nothing but gold and silver as legal tender, and that is clearly not the case; the federal government is failing to uphold its end of the bargain to protect me from the depredation of the states; therefore none of the apparati established under the constitution have any legitimacy, and therefore, I have no obligation to pay taxes"

      It won't work, of course.

      1. So it goes: God > man > government/law > citizen.
        Anyone see a problem(atheists excepted of course)with this? are you a MAN or a citizen?

      2. Because the house always wins.

        Of course, if the Canadian government REALLY wanted to punish the guy, they could have granted his wish, which would include (among other things) the revocation of his license to drive on public roads, prohibition from using public transportation, and the cutting off of all public utilities.

        1. Truck driver,bus driver,taxi driver these are all for hire "drivers". Passengers pay for this service, so when you "travel" with your "guests" in your private automobile are you really "driving". By having a drivers license you voluntarily opt to be treated as such. After all you signed and submited the application.

        2. Hey, cars can drive on roads, and they aren't people.

      3. I'd love to see this on advert posters everywhere.

      4. What happens when one side of the contract fails to uphold its end of the bargain?

        There's supposedly recourse for that within the system.

        And besides the Legal Tender clause is a restriction on states, not the federal government.

        1. So, the federal government shouldn't enforce the 14th amendment. Gotcha.

  2. ok, how about unconstitutional? Better?

    1. Sure, but not in Canada. They clearly are.

  3. If he was as clever as he thinks, "David Kevin Lindsay" would've ceased to exist in '96. (Rhymes, yo.)

    1. (have to pronounce "'96" as Nineteen-Ninety-Six, for better meter.)

  4. I find his argument compelling, since Canadians aren't people.

    1. Does that mean I can own a Canadian?

      1. You already do. His name is Jim Carrey.

        1. So I can keep him in a trunk in my basement?

          1. Please, for the benefit of us all.

    2. You'd think the flapping-heads would be a clue, but they don't seem to notice, eh?

      1. I'm not your buddy, guy!

        1. *really faint, from my receding iceberg*

          I'm not your guy, buddy!

          1. I'm not your guy, friend!

            1. I'm not your buddy guyyyyyyyyy (voice fades away in the distance)

    3. Of course they are.
      They just have no souls.

      1. No, you idiot. That's the japanese.

    4. I was going to argue with you, then I realized that the idea that the Shat is Canadian is a joke. There's nothing remotely Canadian about him. He must've been secretly born in the U.S. as part of a plot to breed the perfect P.M. mole.

        1. Our moles are insidious and subtle. When he becomes prime minister and starts giving the house away to the U.S. . . then you will know the truth.

          Don't worry, we'll let Canada keep Quebec and Nunavut.

          1. I thought we already divvied up Canada.

            1. I'm king of the Great White North?

              1. Vancouver. You're the King of Vancouver. Which explains your heretofore strange move to Seattle. Now it all makes perfect sense.

                1. I also claim the title of Emperor of the Moon.

                  1. You mean the Earth's Moon? Or some other more obscure moon?

                    1. that's not a moon! that's a space station.

            2. So we did.

  5. I remember being called for jury duty once. Before we got into the niceties of jury nullification, etc I was quickly disqualified since I knew the judge and the defense attorney. But the defendant had an interesting defense. He said because he was a sovreign person he was not subject to the state's laws. Interesting argument but he was convicted anyway.

    1. All i remember about my tour of Jury Selection is that it was a big waste of 2 days of my life. And it was a murder case. I guess they pull in a much larger pool for those, so even more people get summarily dropped?

    2. I have jury duty tomorrow! this will be my first time ever. I am 37. Every other time they told me I wasn't needed before I even got there. I am pretty darned excited about this...

      I am prepared to go full-on-silent-mole style Jury rights motherfucker!

      Please gods of trade have it be a drug case!...or maybe

      1. My buddy was on the Brian Nichols rape trial jury in Atlanta. That one turned out to be pretty interesting.

    3. He said because he was a sovreign person he was not subject to the state's laws. Interesting argument but he was convicted anyway.

      It also doesn't get you out of anything. If you're not subject to the jurisdiction of the law, you're not subject to the protection of the law.

      The judge could have replied, "Okay, then, since you're not subject to our laws, I can do anything I want to you. Baliff, take him out and hang him."

      This is the old concept of "outlaw," or Hobbes' State of Nature.

      1. That is statist nonsense.

        1. Hardly, it's just logic. If you aren't a person, you have no rights, including the right to life. Ask any fetus.

  6. More on this here: http://www.atgpress.com/inform/tx021.htm
    This fellow, The Informer has a wealth of interesting articles.

  7. while letting the socialists pay for the welfare (Social Security) state

    Yeah, run on that platform, LP.

    Fire away while you are hot!

    And alienate the GOP strength (old folk) while you are at it.

  8. I find that I, as a concept, work much better in theory than in practice.

  9. I can't understand why we still haven't declared war on Canada for Nickelback. If sending them against us isn't an act of war, what is?

    1. Neil Young and the Band defeated Lynard Skinnard and the Allman Bros in the great war of Southern Aggression of the 70's.

      Casualties buried in Dogdick, Ga.

      1. great war of Southern Aggression

        Don't force me to defend Lynrd Skynrd (or however the fuck they spell their stupid fucking redneck name). Neil Young started it.

        1. Meanwhile, the great buffer zone known as Minnesota gave the world Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Husker Du and Prince.

          You're welcome, The World. 🙂

          1. Many thanks for Hibbing and MN!

            I am from Athens Ga., the home of the B-52's, REM, Vic Chesnutt, and others.

            Combined not worth a Dylan though.....

            1. Athens, eh? I suppose you oppose Tom Petty then?

            2. don't forget us!

      2. Are you insane?

        1. No. LS and the AB were finished by 1980.

          Buried near Macon - little town called Dogdick, Ga like I said.

          And Gregg Allman is a fag who dated Cher. The wrong AB died.

          1. Oh, you mean that Neil Young murdered members of Lynyrd Skynyrd? Well, that may be true.

            1. Neil Young sabotaged the plane that LS died on?

              Please do tell! I love a good crazy conspiracy theory!

              1. I thought that was your theory.

                1. I don't have a theory.

                  Neil Young and Robbie, Garth of the Band outlived LS and the AB.

                  Winners live on.

                  Hard for you?

                  1. You should hear me play OHIO. I am a pianist and my rendition of Young's greatest tune on my Yamaha is sooooooooooooooooo moving.

                    Can you imagine me, drawing upon all of my anarcho-free enterprise-individualist range of emotions, including rage, soulfulness and a call to action, when I strike those ivories (and one ebony-I like to play it in F) and the following lyrics reverberate....

                    what if you knew her and
                    found her dead on the ground?
                    how can you run
                    when you know?

                  2. So whoever lives longer is better?

    2. After they bombed the Baldwins, we became inured to the constant assaults to our sensibilities and tastes. I mean, after Celine Dion, how can you feel anything any more?

      "Eat up, Stephen...you're the weakest."

      1. Hey, Celine is weak.

        I prefer my Canadian whores gritty like Alanis and Joni.

        In their prime - that would be awesome threesome material.

        1. You are a truly disturbed individual, shriek. Truly.

          1. Thanks.

            I am a mixture of cold logic and free-market depravity.

  10. We the People..., now consider who signed the bottom of said agreement it wasn't you or I, also just for fun, if the constitution was written on hemp paper why hasn't the DEA siezed and destroyed it.

  11. anarchy would prevail," wrote Justice Verhoeven

    Drink! Drink, I say!

  12. We had a run-in with one of these "Sovereign Citizen" folks recently. (I'm not claiming the Canadian is a member of this, but it's a lot of the same crackpot logic.) This guy and his teenage son drive down from Ohio. The father doesn't believe in driver's licenses or the authority of the highway patrol. He gets pulled over and decides to open fire on the cops. Two cops dead, others wounded as the man and his son were eventually killed after the chase.

    Local newspaper coverage

    Also more info on the related redemption movement, which is closer to the thinking of the Canadian.

    1. "We?" Are you an LEO parasite?

      1. "We" as in resident of the area. The movement has been around for a long time (prisoners in parts of the country love it and tie up the courts with bizarre appeals), but it's pretty new to the Memphis area. And shooting first at the cops because you don't believe in driver's licenses is pretty stupid regardless of your position on police power.

        1. Okay on the "we" to whom you referred.

          Yes, shooting first is pretty stupid-especially if one's posse consists exclusively of one's teenage son.

  13. It's certainly the dream of many libertarians to have the ability to opt-out of the tax system and use their money to further the interests of themselves and their families, while letting the socialists pay for the welfare state.

    Fine, then get off our fucking roads.

    1. If we had our money, we could build our own.

      1. Or pay for everything to be delivered by Tax-Paying businesses.

      2. And what a paradise that would make.

        1. We tried it your way, dude.

    2. they can get off my roads Tony as long as you stop breathing my air

    3. You have a point if someone opts completely out of the tax system. But if they purchase fuel (or electricity for their EVs) and pay the gas tax (which is impossible NOT to do, if you "pay at the pump") or the utility tax that is usually included in the electric bill, then I would argue that they have as much right as anyone to use the roads, and more than some.

      It is as hard to extricate yourself from "the system" as it is to boycott Chinese-made goods. Under such circumstances, those who would engage with the socialist system in hopes of smashing it have at least as much justification as those who participate in our allegedly capitalist system, with the intent of letting capitalists provide the rope that hangs themselves.

      1. So even though you use the roads and presumably enjoy having them instead of mud trails, you are not morally obligated to contribute to their cost?

        Would it help if government asked you nicely if you would mind terribly paying your share for the infrastructure that lets you live your life?

        I mean, eventually a system's got to be put in place, and we can't go tearing it up all the time, so the only practical thing is to have public roads. Let's do a freedom equation. Loss of freedom: a few tax dollars. Gain in freedom: the infrastructure that allows you to live your life.

        1. It seems you didn't read the post you're responding to.

        2. You could create a system where everyone gets to pick what they think is their fair share in a sort of auction, I think. Not as fun as forcing people to do what you want, I understand.

        3. But... but... driving gas-powered cars on those roads is killing the planet! Chad said so!

    4. What do you mean your roads, asshole? By what right do you possess that land, or the road upon it? Did you, government ministers and chair-polishers, build the roads with your own two hands, a stout shovel, and your aching back?

      Or did you merely rob Peter and command Paul to build the road with the proceeds thereof, sometimes in a useful place, occasionally efficiently, and on rare occasion to the actual measureable benefit of Peter? In which case, you might argue Peter owns the roads by virtue of funding 'em, or Paul by virtue of sweat equity -- but I see no argument at all for ownership by the asshat clown who merely directed where and how they should be built. After all, had he not interposed his busybody self, I feel confident Peter and Paul would've figured out how and where and when to build the road all by themselves.

      Or do you imagine roads are entirely a 20th century invention? There were none before the present era of vast centralized government authority, because before there were people who told us what to do, we ordinary serfs were helpless to figure out how to cope with reality. Really, we just ate whatever was within arms reach and shit in our pants where we stood, drooling.

      1. I'm paying for them, I have a stake in them. You don't want to pay for it, then get off and stop being a thief and trespasser.

        The public can own things. The public administers those things with government. This country tried private roads first. The private sector wasn't up to the task of handling the development of the continent. It wasn't a nefarious plot to control you, it was society evolving to cope with the demands of the time.

        There would be public roads with or without democracy, so be glad you at least have a small but equal say in the matter.

        1. As long as you admit it was the government that had a stake in wiping out the Native Americans since the private sector didn't have the stomach for raping and murdering en masse, and imprisoning Japanese people because of their "shifty eyes" we can agree that the issue of roads is down in the weeds compared to the unsustainable warfare and welfare enemas we are all taking. Same thing goes for NASA. It may be a pointless boondoggle at this point, but it has nothing on Operation: Piss of the Crazy Muslims Even More.

          1. Ever tried xanax?

            1. Nope, I have to pay rent, loans, and for food. Outside of that, hardcore pornography and cocaine rate higher then drugs for my mental "health". There is probably an argument I could make about taxes and how a little less of a burden would allow me to purchase your perscription for my perceived deficiencies, but I'll leave it at that.

      2. Or do you imagine roads are entirely a 20th century invention? There were none before the present era of vast centralized government authority

        I dunno... I hear the Romans made some of the big advances in roads - but that's hardly an argument against vast centralized government authority...

    5. Can't speak for anyone else, but I'd gladly stop using public roads if that somehow translated to my money not being withheld for up to a year at a time. I don't even make enough to owe income tax when all is said and done, but travel isn't big in my life, so I'd barely notice a difference. I telecommute, I do my banking online, I buy entertainment online, I don't care for travel vacations, I'm looking into ordering non-refrigerated food online, and all in all I just use my car so rarely that when I ran the numbers on whether it would be cheaper to rent a car every time I need to go out or keep paying insurance on this thing, the insurance couldn't even manage to come out ahead by a factor of 2.

      1. And in case you have a heart attack, do you have a method of instructing the emergency responders to take you to the end of your private drive and just drop you there to die?

        Oh, that'll be $5000 for the ambulance trip your surviving family can pay.

        1. In Tony's wet dream statist world everyone has a microchip implanted in them that tells the nanny state when they've had a cardiac incident.

        2. What's it to you Tony? Just let him fucking die, if you're going to worship a totalitarian state of thieving assholes. Maybe if doctors could make housecalls, charity care was allowed by "less educated" religious practictioners or if private ambulances/hospitals would be allowed to thrive in your paradise, CJ would have some less fatal/wealth destroying options to turn to. Oh that's right, you're all about retricting choice. I can't wait until you get your way and hordes of people circumvent all your hurdles at every moment, nullifying whatever benefits such restrictions would have created. Organized crime will make a roaring comeback to ensure CJ gets his nitrogen pills at half the cost of your "just and free" option. I guess you'll just have to start shooting into crowds of black market customers to ensure that your boots are properly licked.

  14. they can get off my roads Tony as long as you stop breathing my air

  15. And to think we've put an end to conscription, yet the government still somehow manages to find enough warm bodies to send on adventures abroad.

    1. Propaganda is a beautiful thing.

  16. they can get off my roads Tony as long as you stop breathing my air

  17. they can get off my roads Tony as long as you stop breathing my air

  18. To direct and control; to regulate; to influence; to restrain; to manage.


    The organized use of threats, coercion, intimidation, and violence to compel the payment for actual or alleged services of arbitrary or excessive charges under the guise of membership dues, protection fees, royalties, or service rates.


    A forced burden, charge, exaction, imposition or contribution assessed in accordance with some reasonable rule of apportionment by authority of a sovereign state upon the persons or property within its jurisdiction to provide for public revenue for the support of the government, the administration of the law, or the payment of public expenses.


    A group of men and women providing the service of protecting "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" at the barrel of a gun.


    The taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent.


    The taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force and or by putting the victim in fear.


    These are the facts that happen, perpetrated by the men and women doing business with a gun or the threat of the use of a gun if you do not comply, on a daily basis in our so called "nation". These men and women call themselves "government". Now, factually without opinion just the facts, is there a difference between a criminal and a bureaucrat?

    NO. One uses a badge and one does not.

    1. NO. One uses a badge and one does not.

      [pedant] That's still a difference. [/pedant]

      1. pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant...pink panther

    2. Yeah, but...Due Process!

      1. And DEMOCRACY!!! Your candidate will never win because he never promises Unicorn Ponies to all of his chosen at the expense of those who couldn't give two shits about Unicorn Ponies, but at least you had a say in the process. Now lick our boots you foolish selfish bastards. They're covered in Unicorn Shit.

  19. Let him opt out: then charge him $100,000,000 to set foot on any public property, anywhere. Lock him in debtors prison if he can't pay.

    1. The concept of "public property" is obscene. Because you don't really mean a commons, something owned by all citizens collectively merely by virtue of being a citizen -- something anybody has a right to.

      What you mean is property sequestered from the citizens, "owned" by the government, which gets it by thieving from private persons by force and not by consent of its existing owners.

      You might as well be Prince John talking about the king's deer that Robin Hood illegally killed. You are, in short, a slave and think like one. You're owned, as surely as if you wore actual chains.

      1. Because you don't really mean a commons, something owned by all citizens collectively merely by virtue of being a citizen -- something anybody has a right to.

        What you mean is property sequestered from the citizens, "owned" by the government, which gets it by thieving from private persons by force and not by consent of its existing owners.

        Tomato, tomahto.

        1. Sure, the commons and government property are the same, if you're a fucking idiot.

      2. "Private" property is also a social contract - it does not exist in nature. Private property only exists under conditions where citizens agree to mutually recognize and submit to a body of laws and contracts. Judging from history, you need a government of some sort to enforce these contracts - you cannot have real private property without a state and some amount of bureaucracy. "Private" property is not morally better than "public" property (at least not under the Christian moral system) - it is simply a far more efficient way of allocating resources and stimulating economic growth.

    2. Wow. Putting someone in prison for about the most non-violent of non-violent crimes. THERE'S a good use of resources.

      1. Come on Chad you can do better than that. Let's see how full of putrid bird shit you are:

        Let him opt out: then charge him $100,000,000 to set foot on any public property, anywhere. Send him to the Salt Mines if he can't pay.

        That sounds about right, and it will take care of the compensation issues we'll see in the People's Republic of Chad. Enslave the non-believers, and the altrustic gods can eat grapes and fuck in the clouds.

  20. If he's not a person, he can be tortured or enslaved like any other object.

    1. Maybe. But then again, he could fight back and destroy his would-be torturers and enslavers, like a badly-handled milling machine, without fear of liability.

      1. "Liability" is meaningless when any person or institution can do with you as it wills without recourse.

  21. The fact of the matter is in America that the income tax is voluntary but the government breaks the law to enforce the tax.

    The privacy act that we get in our 1040 booklet says we are responsible for any tax that we're liable for.

    The joke is that there is no liability for income tax so that is how the privacy act -- a portion of Pres. Ford's Freedom of information act -- gets away with mentioning that the income tax is voluntary.

    Peter Schiff's martyred father, Irwin Schiff, explains it best and people should look at his stuff: Pay no Income Tax.com

    1. Well, hello my old friend.

      Irwin Schiff is a hero. I seethe every time I think of him being confined to a cell in our gulag.

    1. gtfo

  22. There's something about how when the government writes you name in all caps it is a legal fiction. If you have a drivers license were your name is all caps you are under Admiralty law and their slave or something.

  23. I had hoped this thread would attract more crazies.

    1. What? Aren't the regular ones enough for you any longer? Why are you so demanding?!

      :::runs sobbing from room:::

  24. Free will for the people is "an untenable situation for the government".

    Yeah, that's about right.

  25. Is it possible what you think is real is just a public relations scheme?

  26. I don't know if anyone is still here, but there is a rather successful anti income tax movement or two still out there...one is Pete Henrickson's Cracking the Code, at http://www.losthorizons.com . He debunks a lot of arguments and says that the income tax has always been an excise tax on federally connected privileges and employments...he advocates filing a 1040 with a rebuttal form that contradicts the w-2 and 1099 information returns. He claims nearly 11 million in refunds for his followers.

    1. You mean convicted felon Pete Hendrickson who is going to jail for using his "Crack the Code" method. The same fool who is already in contempt of court and who has a prior felony conviction for detonating an explosive device in a USPS mail box? And he never mentions all the "victories" eventually result in additional penalties and fines for the victors - short term gain, long term huge losses. In short, anyone who follows loser Hendrickson is a big idiot and will eventually get worked over by the IRS as NO court has ever found in his favor, just the opposite.

  27. Pete was found guilty at his initial trial but it is looking like he may win on appeal which would set precedence due to the fact it was appealed in an appeals court, one step below the SCOTUS.

    1. The L.A. Clippers are more likely to win a championship than Petey Hendrickson getting his conviction overturned. Whenever his "method" has been used as a basis for defense in court, when his methodology has been exposed in court, it has always, 100% of the time failed, with additional fines and penalties for those clinging to it. Hendrickson's methodology is used by tiny, greedy little people of a desperate and self-centered nature, who cling to the magical hope that somehow the right combination of words will let them have their way - sort of an overblown adult temper-tantrum.

      1. In every one of those cases, one could argue that the corruption of the Federal Mafia is exposed.

        Loser? One who kisses the rear end of Caesar.

  28. You'd think the judge would at least attempt to bring up some negative points?

  29. "Hendrickson's methodology is used by tiny, greedy little people of a desperate and self-centered nature, who cling to the magical hope that somehow the right combination of words will let them have their way - sort of an overblown adult temper-tantrum."

    When the government that you so love and adore forces a burden, charge, exaction, imposition or contribution on you by force or the threat of use of force, then we should cheer and support this activity?

    Is there a difference,factually and not your opinion, between robbery(armed or otherwise) and taxation?

    If our beloved government is such a benevolent protector of, life, liberty, and property then why are they always the first in line to take it from you?

    1. So, 0321_Guy, what part of your magic powers enables you believe that I love the government so much. I never, ever said that, but of course why let little things like facts get in the way of your nonsensical musings. There are a lot of services provided by the Federal government that benefit everybody and those services have to be paid for. The rub is, what is/are the benefits we are willing to pay for?

  30. "Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's.", Does this require blind obedience or does it question the fact that god created the gold and nothing is due Ceasar. Ceasar becomes a charlatan of the popular imagination. Mormons, Catholics, Scientologists, Government and Law they are in your head, burn the witch.

  31. It is a strange shift in perspective when someone challenges something fundamental like the meaning of what it is to be a 'person'. The Canadian Constitution is often seen as a written in stone fact of history, but it is not as old, and not as invulnerable as some people seem to believe. There is more information on the Canadian Constitution at Canada's Got Treasures, which is also a space where you can share your images/thoughts.

    Canada's Got Treasures, a VMC initiative

  32. I admire his spunk! Though he probably would have just spent all that extra money on a home theater or something. Thanks for the article!

  33. I admire his spunk! Though he probably would have just spent all that extra money on a home theater or something. Why did it take so long for them to process this case?

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