Dave and Jack meet with Ms. Z.I received a notice from a Ms. Z. in the Bremerton office stating that she wanted to meet with me to "discuss" my not having filed a 1040 form for 1996. After a few calls we agreed upon a suitable meeting time.
I met Jack in the IRS parking lot about 15 minutes before the appointment, to map out a strategy. I can remember him saying, "here's the drill", opening the 1040 booklet to page 7, pointing to the Privacy Act and Paperwork reduction Act Notice and saying that we were going to request, nay demand, them to obey the law as shown in their own booklet, to wit:
The Privacy Act of 1974 and Paperwork reduction Act of 1980 say that when we ask you for information we must first tell you our legal right to ask for the information, why we are asking for it and how it will be used. We must also tell you what could happen if we do not receive it and whether your response is voluntary, required to obtain a benefit, or mandatory under the law.
I was nervous as we approached the appointed time, much like you might feel going to the Dentist.
We climbed the stairs and entered the lobby. I remember, upon being admitted Jack saying something to the effect, "can't your agency get any better working conditions than these?" I remember being suprised by his lack of trepidation, which I was experiencing in abundance. I thought, well, after all, it's my hide they're after. Though I must say that his attitude did put me a bit more at ease.
We met with Ms. Z. at a desk situated in a little enclave surrounded by boxes files and file cabinets, most unkempt.
I said hello, we shook hands, I introduced Jack, and we proceeded to sit down. I don't remember the conversation verbatim, but she asked for a 1040 return or why I hadn't filed for 1996. I opened the 1040 booklet, pointed to the Privacy Act Notice, mumbling and stammered, that I would "like her" tell me whether my response to the information for which she was asking was voluntary, needed for a benefit or mandatory under the law. She refused to answer . I then asked her to show me the law that makes me liable for taxes on my wages. She said the "entire Code of 1954" makes me liable.
She probably deduced that Jack was the brains of the operation, so she turned to me and emplored me not to get involved with any of these Tax Protest Organizations and make any of these Tax Protester arguments. She construed my asking a question as making an argument, curious no?
After some further discussion much of the civility of the "discussion" had evaporated as she was becoming visibility angry (much like someone caught in a lie.) When she determined I would not yield she stated that "we'll file a substitute 1040 for you because you had taxable income for 1996." At this point I was stumped. I turned to Jack for support, he asked me "may I" (speak for you), I consented, then he turned and asked Ms. Z., "who's going to sign it?" She abruptly responded, much to my surprise, "Get Out, Get Out"... needless to say, we gladly obliged.
Since then I've recieved numerous letters from the agency all of which have been answered in a timely fashion. Their responses to my questions have all been off-point; I think they really don't know how to answer.