Representative Traficant

Practical and Practice issues for Professionals who practice in the area of taxation. Moral, social and economic issues relating to taxes, including international issues, the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, state tax issues, etc. Not for "tax protestor" issues, which should be posted in the "tax protestor" forum above. The advice or opinion given herein should not be relied on for any purpose whatsoever. Also examines cookie-cutter deals that have no economic substance but exist only to generate losses, as marketed by everybody from solo practitioner tax lawyers to the major accounting firms.
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Representative Traficant

Post by operabuff » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:34 pm

James Traficant, former representative from Ohio, passed away last week. ... story.html

Traficant was a lifelong foe of the IRS whom he blamed for many of his troubles. In the early eighties, he was charged with accepting bribes from organized crime during a campaign for sheriff. He represented himself at the trial and was acquitted - he argued that he took the money as part of his personal sting operation. Notwithstanding the acquittal, the IRS determined that he owed taxes on the money received. Traficant, by then a member of the House of Representatives, represented himself in the Tax Court without success. Even though he argued that double jeopardy and estoppel should prevent the government from prevailing, he was found to be liable for the tax and for the fraud penalty. ... al-revenue

He seemed like a crackpot - wild hairdo and colorful language. He advocated that the IRS should bear the burden of proof in all civil tax proceedings. (He lost in Tax Court in part because of burden of proof issues.) His ideas never gained any traction until the Senate Finance committee hearings in the late 90's. RRA '98 contained a provision that ostensibly shifts the burden of proof to the IRS in civil tax cases. (Section 7491).

The obituary above says that he was also responsible for a provision restricting the IRS's ability to seize property that became part of RRA '98.

The burden of proof provision didn't end up amounting to much of a change. According to the statute, the taxpayer had to produce credible evidence, maintain books and records, and meet statutory substantiation requirements for the burden to shift to the government on a factual issue. In effect, the taxpayer had to carry the burden of production for the provision to shift. The government would then bear the burden of persuasion. If the evidence were in equipose, the government would lose. Few if any cases, however, result in the evidence being equally balanced, so the benefit to the taxpayer of this provision is pretty limited.

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Re: Representative Traficant

Post by fortinbras » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:54 pm

Traficante's reputation was not helped by some early SovCit type who started up a bit of fakery that still thrives in SovCit circles. Supposedly Traficant, while in Congress, had made this stemwinder speech about how the US was financially bankrupt and it was all the fault of the Federal Reserve and the (mostly Jewish) bankers. -- Except he had never made that speech or anything like it. Only the first two sentences were Traficante's - from a speech about a bloated Pentagon appropriation bill - and that was the Congressional Record citation that often accompanied this hoax. After the opening sentences the rest of the "speech" was mostly culled from Eustace Mullins's propaganda.