Philips v. Commissioner

T.C. Memo. 1995-540 (1995)

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Philips v. Commissioner

United States Tax Court
T.C. Memo. 1995-540 (1995)

Facts

Scott Philips (plaintiff) received taxable income from multiple sources over the course of several years. Philips never filed tax returns for those years or paid federal taxes on his income. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) issued Philips a notice of deficiency. Philips then filed a document purporting to be a petition to the United States Tax Court contesting the deficiency. Philips’s purported petition failed to comply with the form and content regulations for Tax Court petitions. Additionally, Philips’s purported petition raised arguments long held to be legally spurious, albeit favored by tax protestors, such as the argument that wages are not taxable income and that the Sixteenth Amendment is unconstitutional. The Tax Court denied Philips’s purported petition and ordered Philips to amend it. Philips then resubmitted the same document. The IRS filed a motion asking the court both to dismiss the case and to impose sanctions against Philips. Philips submitted another amended complaint, this time complying with the court’s requirements, and the court denied the IRS’s motion to dismiss. At trial, Philips conceded that he had received income on which he had not paid taxes but continued to contest his liability. Philips reraised the arguments made in his original petition, supplementing them with nonsensical, out-of-context invocations of legal jargon. The IRS renewed its motion asking the court to impose sanctions on Philips.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Foley, J.)

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