Saturday, June 25, 2005

Former IRS CID Agent Acquitted on Tax Charges

Former IRS Criminal Investigation Division Agent Joseph Banister was found not guilty of assisting taxpayers in filing false tax returns.  Banister is well-known in the tax protester movement for his statements that the tax laws are unenforceable.  The charges relate to so-called "protest returns" filed by Banister's clients, which dispute whether any tax is owed.  Banister himself was not charged with failure to file taxes, and the government failed to prove that his conduct knowingly assisted his clients in filing false tax returns.  Although Banister was acquitted, one of his clients, Walter Thompson, was convicted of tax violations in an earlier trial and is serving a six-year term of imprisonment.  With the tax protester movement, acquittals or convictions are not always the benchmark. A New York Times story (here) discusses the Banister case. (ph)


UPDATE (6/25): Check Paul Caron's post on the Tax Prof blog (here) for additional information and links to information on Banister's place in the tax protester movement. (ph)

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