Could anyone show me where to read the law that says Americans will pay income tax?

It would be greatly appreciated. I have not been able to find the law. Oh, by the way, what is income tax used for anyway? I want to see how many people know the answer to this. Good luck.


To those people that attack instead of answer Grow Up!

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The law is easy enough to find, if someone actually spends a moment to look. In fact, there are plenty of sites on the Internet that will direct people to the correct answers.

    The Internal Revenue Code is codified in the U.S. Code as Title 26. Title 26 is prima facie law. That means that it is used as evidence of the actual or positive law that was properly enacted by Congress and signed into law by a President. The basic structure of the current Internal Revenue Code comes from the Internal Revenue Act of 1954. Various acts by Congress since have made modifications to the law, but the basic structure is still the same. The Internal Revenue Act of 1954 and the various modification acts can be found in the U.S. Statutes at Large. The Internal Revenue Act of 1954 can be found in Vol. 68A. The U.S. Statutes at Large can be viewed at various Federal Depository Libraries. There are probably several Federal Depository Libraries in your state.

    Title 26 can be read online in several places. The law library at Cornell is my personal favorite.

    To be more specific, § 1 imposes a tax on "taxable income of...every married individual...every head of household...every individual".

    § 61 defines gross income as "all income from whatever source derived including (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) the following items: (a) compensation for services..."

    § 62 defines adjusted gross income as "gross income minus the following deductions:..."

    § 63 defines taxable income as "gross income minus the deductions provided by this chapter..."

    § 6011 is the requirement for filing returns. "When required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary any person made liable for any tax imposed by this title, or with respect to the collection thereof, shall make a return or statement according to the forms and regulations prescribed by the Secretary. Every person required to make a return or statement shall include therein the information required by such forms or regulations."

    BTW, an income tax on wages has ALWAYS been Constitutional. In Springer v. United States, 102 U.S. 586 (1880), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of an income tax against an individual, William H. Springer, finding that the income tax was a constitutional “duty or excise” and not a “direct tax.” In Brushaber vs. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916), the court said while discussing the 1895 Pollock case, "Nothing could serve to make this clearer than to recall that in the Pollock Case, in so far as the law taxed incomes from other classes of property than real estate and invested personal property, that is, income from ‘professions, trades, employments, or vocations,’ (158 U.S. 637), its validity was recognized; indeed it was expressly declared that no dispute was made upon that subject, and attention was called to the fact that taxes on such income had been sustained as excise taxes in the past. Id. p. 635."

    The income tax goes into the general fund and is used for funding various government programs. If you read a conspiracy theory or some 23 year old report about how all income taxes go to paying the interest on U.S. Government debt, it is wrong. The IRS collected $1.04 trillion in individual income taxes in 2006. The U.S. Government debt in 2006 was approximately $8.4 trillion. In order for all income taxes to only pay interest, the interest rate would have to be close to 12%. Interest on the debt isn't anywhere close to that. Currently, the interest on the debt is only about 5%.

    If you have read somewhere that all income taxes go to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve only holds about $800 billion of the U.S. Government debt. The Federal Reserve did collect about $36 billion in interest on that debt. However, AS REQUIRED BY LAW, the Federal Reserve returned excess earnings to the U.S. Treasury. In 2006, the Federal Reserve paid to the U.S. Treasury about $29 billion. This can seen in the AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS of the Federal Reserve Banks. These financial statements are part of the Federal Reserve ANNUAL REPORT to Congress.

    If you would be more specific as to the exact frivolous tax protestor argument you believe doesn't make you liable for income taxes, I'll be happy to refute it for you. That is, if you are willing to accept it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Early income taxes in the US were either temporary (the Civil War income tax expired in 1872) or found to be illegal (struck down by the Supreme Court in 1895, #3 AFTR 2602, 157 U.S. 429, USSC, 1895). There was confusion over direct and indirect taxation of citizens with or without apportionment based on a national census.

    Corporate income taxes were enacted in 1909 (upheld by the Supreme Court in a challenge in 1911).

    Congress got over the apportionment clause at about the same time with the passing of the 16th amendment:

    "The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." (February 25, 1913)

    Congress immediately passed the Revenue Act October 3, 1913, retroactive to March 1 of that year.

    (Many people are in prison as we speak or have been fined and penalized into oblivion because they seem to think that they don't have to pay taxes. Ignorance of the authority of Congress sometimes hurts.)


    I believe that revenues collected from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, and trust and estate taxes are drawn into the general fund of the federal government, and so the amounts can be used to pay for almost anything.

    Here is a link to the budget of the US Government:

    Remember that the budget of a government is enacted and becomes enforceable law, the financial statements of the government merely report how closely they follow the budget guidelines.

    Governments use fund accounting, and that means that funds are authorized, getting money into the funds is specified by law, and amounts that a fund can expend are also limited by law. (Each fund has its own specifications.)

  • 4 years ago

    Amendment XVI The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is so simple

    Amendment 16.

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    US Code 26 AKA the IRS Code. People forget congress passes the US Code, not IRS.

    Since congress passes US Code and they have the right to tax according to Amendment 16 (which has been upheld by the Supreme Court). Code 26 gives them the right to use IRS to collect taxes.

    The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. ie the code is law.

    Congress collects taxes and since they collect them, they decide where the money goes. Im done thanks for playing. Thats your law, where they get authority and who gets to spend it. Thats why the president has to ask congress for money from income tax. They decide where it goes.

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Title 26 of the United States Code. This is the part of the United States Code is also called the Internal Revenue Code.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We could show you the law but you would not believe it because you don't want to. Everyday some nut case posts this same timeworn argument. Save your time here and go visit Ed Brown in prison. I'm sure he is lonely.

  • ron s
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    just do not pay it if you don't believe in it. stand up for yourself. your lawyer will be happy to show it all to you while prepping for you trail. the big problem is not the way they collect it from you, it's the giving it out to people to lazy to work for there own money.

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