Harold Stanley of Peculiar, Missouri, is yet another individual who tried, but failed, to declare himself a sovereign citizen in order to avoid paying taxes. Stanley, 62, was a consulting electrical engineer who refused to pay any federal income tax on his income. From 2005 to 2009, Stanley received $971,604 in his capacity as an independent contractor. From 2007 through 2009, he filed correct tax returns bu failed to submit payment. Then, starting in 2010, Stanley filed to file a tax return.
The IRS wasn’t interested in debating his sovereign citizen claim, which asserts that he inst subject to government statutes and that he gets to interpret the common law as he so choose. Eventually Stanley was arrested for tax evasion and was subsequently convicted of evading taxes in excess of $1 million.
What made matters worse for Stanley was that he submitted fake money orders as payment to the IRS. He was ultimately sentences to five years in federal prison without parole.
Our firm sometimes encounters those who have some claim that they do not have to pay tax, whether the argument is based off of the sovereign citizen philosophy or some US Supreme Court case from the 1930’s – those “tax protesters” unfortunately have bought into an unfounded claim that will ultimately result in their prosecution.