After being sentenced to the maximum three years in federal prison for his convictions on tax evasion charges, Wesley Snipes vowed to appeal.

Interestingly, just before the sentence was announced, Snipes asked the court to show mercy and paid $5 million. His checks were cashed – to be applied towards the amount Snipes allegedly owes – but Snipes still received the maximum sentence.

It’s nearly impossible to tell what Snipes owes at this point. Prosecutors allege that Snipes has, over the years, hidden at least $41 million from taxing authorities, much of it overseas. Snipes’ lawyers dispute that amount, claiming that the amount actually due is less than a quarter of a million dollars (a claim that reeks a bit, considering Snipes’ $5 million payment today).

Snipes, who has had plenty to say throughout his trial, reportedly only said, “Wow!” as the sentence was announced.

Is the sentence fair? Vote in the sidebar and leave your comments below.

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer and podcaster.

Comments

  1. I don’t think they should have given him 3 years for his tax evasion. For his acting, it would be lenient.

  2. He was NOT convicted of tax evasion at all. He was convicted of “Failure to file tax returns” He was acquitted of “Tax Evasion” “Conspiracy” and “Willful Failure to File” thus he was convicted of a misdemeanor!!! He is innocent of ALL Charges the government failed to produce ANY law requiring him to file or pay income taxes!!!

    Congressman John E. Ensign–
    “I cannot point to a specific place in the law where it says you must pay income taxes.”

    Congressman Dan Burton—
    “You are correct in your assertion that the word “liability” or terminology “liability for income taxes” is not contained in any Section of the Internal Revenue Code”

  3. 26 USC 5005 Persons liable for tax.
    (a) General.
    The distiller or importer of distilled spirits shall be liable for the taxes imposed by section 5001(a)(1)

    26 USC 5703 Liability for tax and method of payment.
    (a) Liability for tax.
    (1) Original liability.
    The manufacturer or importer of tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes shall be liable for the taxes imposed by section 5701.

    26 USC 4401 Imposition of tax.
    (c) Persons liable for tax
    Each person who is engaging in the business of accepting wagers shall be liable for and pay the tax under this subchapter on all wagers placed with him.

    Congressman John E. Ensign–
    “I cannot point to a specific place in the law where it says you must pay income taxes.”

    Congressman Dan Burton—
    “You are correct in your assertion that the word “liability” or terminology “liability for income taxes” is not contained in any Section of the Internal Revenue Code”

    Alexander Hamilton
    “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” Federalist Papers 28

    Aaron Russo: “Is there a law that requires people to file a 1040?”
    Congressman Ron Paul: “Not explicitly, but it’s certainly implied.”
    Aaron Russo: “Well implied by force; but is there a law?”
    Congressman Ron Paul: “I cannot cite a law, no, I cannot….you know if they think it’s a law and they have all the guns; you know it’s an authoritarian approach.” {I have this on video I will e-mail it to you here..7min. long, this quote is about 4 min. in}

    Sir Winston Churchill
    “Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the truth. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business as if nothing had happened.”

    Henry Kissinger
    “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

    Dwight E. Avis
    Head of ATF
    IRS House Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearings 1953
    “Let me point this out now. Your income tax is 100 percent voluntary and your liquor tax is 100 percent enforced tax. Now the situation is as different as day and night. Consequently, your same rules just will not apply… ”

    T. Coleman Andrews
    Commissioner of IRS
    “Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what’s happening to him.”
    U.S. News & World Report May 25, 1956

    Jack Cole Co. v. MacFarland
    337 S.W. 2d. 453, 455-456 (Tenn. 1960)
    “Since the Right to receive income or earnings is a Right belonging to every person, this right cannot be taxed as a privilege.”

    Daniel J. Mitchell
    Economist
    “Compare this (40% to 75% total local, State and Federal tax rate) to the plight of medieval serfs. They only had to give the lord of the manor a third of their output and they were considered slaves. So what does that make us?”

    Henry Bellmon Senator (1969)
    “In a recent conversation with an official at the Internal Revenue Service, I was amazed when he told me that ‘If the taxpayers of this country ever discover that the IRS operates on 90% bluff the entire system will collapse.'”

    Irwin Schiff…. “Organized crime in America begins with the Federal Government. The Federal Government has been literally extorting income tax money from the American public, also running the worlds biggest counterfeit ring because all US Coin and Currency is counterfeit. The Constitution requires it to be gold and silver. Social Security is a chain letter, there are no trust funds even though they claim there are trust funds. And of course the IRS runs the worlds biggest fence. All articles seized by the IRS are stolen from the People because they weren’t required to pay income taxes so it’s all stolen. Them they sell it and it’s all stolen so the federal Government runs the worlds biggest fence.”

    President Ronald Reagan, May 1983, Williamsburg, VA
    “Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive [it] reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American… it has earned a rebellion and it’s time we rebelled.”

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