Can a US Citizen Refuse to Pay Taxes Because of Religious Beliefs?
Is it possible for a US citizen to refuse to pay taxes due to religious beliefs? This question isn’t clear. This issue has been the subject of several cases, including In re Becraft, Cheek v. United States and Lovell v. United States. It is not clear if the First Amendment gives religious people a right to avoid tax.
In re Becraft
A taxpayer’s frivolous argument claiming that the Constitution forbids the imposition direct non-apportioned income taxes was recently rejected by the 9th Circuit. In re Becraft, the court rejected this argument because it conflicts with established rules of law. The Seventh Circuit upheld the decision and the taxpayer is now subject to sanctions for bad faith.
Becraft is a legal case that focuses on the structure and use of control numbers for income tax forms. The Sixteenth Amendment doesn’t authorize the government to levy an unapportioned tax directly upon citizens of the United States, as the case argues. This is the core of the entire legal argument in the case.
Lovell v United States
The case of Lovell v United States arose when Lovell was denied a job as a special agent with the FBI in 1986. Because of his epilepsy history, his application was rejected. However, Lovell claimed that he had been seizure-free for eight years and had been off medication for the same amount of time. The special agent rejected his application and informed him that Lovell’s epilepsy was an automatic disqualifier. Lovell was told by the special agent that his appeal had been denied and that he would have six months to appeal.
The taxpayer’s position in Lovell v. United States was that the penalties imposed on him were based on an objective test. In the Seventh Circuit, however, this test was not applied. The Seventh Circuit ruled that the taxpayer engaged in bad faith and did not prove his innocence.
Cheek v United States
Cheek v United States is a decision from the United States Supreme Court. The case relates to a case of willful failure to file tax returns. The defendant claimed that he was brainwashed by a group telling him that tax laws were not constitutional. Cheek also claimed that his actions from 1980-1986 were lawful and did not violate the tax code. The Supreme Court reversed the conviction.
Cheek claims that jury instructions were not correct by the district court. He claims that he wasn’t given adequate legal advice. He claims that the government failed to follow the Speedy Trial Act. The government argues that the evidence presented by Cheek fell short of the standard required for a successful defense.
Cheek v United States concerns a case where a person willfully failed to file a federal tax return. Henry J. Kalita was the subject. He was indicted and convicted in 1981. Cheek v United States is an Illinois case that was decided in the Northern District of Illinois, June 28, 1985.
In re Freeman
In re Freeman is a case that challenges the validity of the US judicial test for patentability. Three decisions of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals were involved in this case. In re Freeman (573 F.2d 1237 in 1978), and Freeman (v. Walter) (618 F.2d 758, 1980). These decisions were overturned upon appeal.
In re Freeman, Genevieve Bizzell Freeman and David Michael FREEMAN are the debtors. The court found that the original patent was issued with claims 1-9, and was amended with new claims 10-22. The case was brought on the ground of infringement of the claims of the reissue patent. In response to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, 3M filed a request for reexamination of the reissue patent. The infringement trial had already begun, and the PTO stopped the reexamination proceeding.
After the district court’s ruling, Dr. Freeman appealed to this court. The court ruled that buoyant uplift limitations applied to reissue claims. The court must interpret “buoyant upward” as the district court ruled.