Man uses RFRA defense in tax evasion case (1 Viewer)

RetroMcBananaFace

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Man uses RFRA defense in tax evasion case

National relevance is, Pence being VP could lead to a national revision of RFRA more in line with Indiana's version. In a vacuum, I'd say this could never pass, but the big corporations are very much in favor of that because it can save them big money and we all know how the lobbies bribe ....er, work ... when it comes to getting these things passed.

It's dangerous law with really bad implications, something that all Americans whether you fall Democrat or Republican need to be wary of.
 

Goatman Saint

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Hey, he got what he wanted. That crew wanted a legal loophole for a yeehaad against gays and such. Well, he got that, and lots more. I'm glad. I hope this guy is successful


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RetroMcBananaFace

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Also, if you read further down, there is another case where a woman used it as a defense for abusing and neglecting her 14-year-old child.

Also the Church of Cannabis is using it to have marijuana declared a sacrament to their religion. (It should be noted that the Church of Cannabis was basically formed as a direct response to RFRA, they like to party and subvert bad politics, which is A-OK in my book)
 

JimEverett

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So, potential criminal defenses are now a bad thing?

i mean, I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course. But the RFRA written by chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy and signed into law by Bill Clinton was also used as a defense in criminal tax proceedings.
And, of course, the law was made in direct response to a SCOTUS decision rejecting a religious liberty defense in the use of peyote - so the potential marijuana defense should be of no surprise.
 
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So, potential criminal defenses are now a bad thing?

i mean, I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course. But the RFRA written by chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy and signed into law by Bill Clinton was also used as a defense in criminal tax proceedings.
And, of course, the law was made in direct response to a SCOTUS decision rejecting a religious liberty defense in the use of peyote - so the potential marijuana defense should be of no surprise.
As I understand, the main difference between Pence's RFRA and the existing federal ordinance (and other state RFRA's) is that Pence's bill had broader language - mainly the lack of a clause that makes it subject to an overrule by existing federal, state and local civil rights laws. That's what had people here so up in arms. That combined with a reinforcement of the whole "a corporation is the same as a person" SCOTUS decision opens the door for some serious abuse, IMO. Hopefully we'll never have to find out.
 

booya

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Hey, he got what he wanted. That crew wanted a legal loophole for a yeehaad against gays and such. Well, he got that, and lots more. I'm glad. I hope this guy is successful


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Great stuff...

Too bad that I am not an US citizen.
I would create a new church

The first church of free balls and boobs and grap a women by...

And all would be covered by the RFRA

And when they want me and my male and female followers to proof that we are really religous.
Nothing better then a strip show in the courtroom.



To be honest ... the RFRA law is somewhat crazy but it's a interessting and funny method to fight a bad system by using it extensivley.
 

JimEverett

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As I understand, the main difference between Pence's RFRA and the existing federal ordinance (and other state RFRA's) is that Pence's bill had broader language - mainly the lack of a clause that makes it subject to an overrule by existing federal, state and local civil rights laws. That's what had people here so up in arms. That combined with a reinforcement of the whole "a corporation is the same as a person" SCOTUS decision opens the door for some serious abuse, IMO. Hopefully we'll never have to find out.
The federal law applies to corporations and we haven't seen a run of corporations getting out of paying taxes because of it. So I am not sure why there is concern for abuse in that area.
 

efil4stnias

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The federal law applies to corporations and we haven't seen a run of corporations getting out of paying taxes because of it. So I am not sure why there is concern for abuse in that area.
Because they "ran" overseas.

lol.

If "forced" to come back....its fair game.
 

crosswatt

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An even bigger issue IMHO:

Tyms-Bey, an Indianapolis resident, was charged with three counts of class D felony tax evasion in 2014. According to the state, Tyms-Bey fraudulently claimed state tax credits, and owes back taxes of exactly $1,042.82.
$1042.82 in back taxes constitutes a FELONY? I mean, seriously?
 

Galbreath34

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True, but a lot of states start felonies for shoplifting or theft at $500, so yeah, we have a problem with our criminal justice system. It's not just because of the war on drugs that we have more prisoners than China and a higher rate of incarceration than North Korea or Iran.
 

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From the article:
While Tyms-Bey's case is outside the realm of federal law, Indiana makes the argument against him that "common sense dictates that individuals cannot be allowed to claim religious objection to income taxation without the very system of taxation breaking down."

"Without uniform taxation, free from individual objection, the system that funds our government and public services would grind to a halt."
Haahahahaah! You're citing 'common sense'. That's hilarious, Indiana. Your legislature passed it, they knew damn well what it meant.
 

superchuck500

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So, potential criminal defenses are now a bad thing?

i mean, I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course. But the RFRA written by chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy and signed into law by Bill Clinton was also used as a defense in criminal tax proceedings.
And, of course, the law was made in direct response to a SCOTUS decision rejecting a religious liberty defense in the use of peyote - so the potential marijuana defense should be of no surprise.

I'm having trouble with the semantics here. The OP article says that the RFRA was cited as a defense to paying taxes, and your citing the federal version as "used as a defense."

But the question is whether that defense was sustained as a matter of law and the person asserting it was successful in avoiding taxes on that basis. Apparently we don't know the result yet in the OP case, but what about the one you're talking about?
 

JimEverett

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I'm having trouble with the semantics here. The OP article says that the RFRA was cited as a defense to paying taxes, and your citing the federal version as "used as a defense."

But the question is whether that defense was sustained as a matter of law and the person asserting it was successful in avoiding taxes on that basis. Apparently we don't know the result yet in the OP case, but what about the one you're talking about?
A civil tax penalty against a corporation has the federal RFRA as a potential defense. Yet we have not had a run of corporate entities getting out of paying taxes using that as a defense.
In fact, there have been zero. And I am almost certain there will be zero in Indiana.
 

superchuck500

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A civil tax penalty against a corporation has the federal RFRA as a potential defense. Yet we have not had a run of corporate entities getting out of paying taxes using that as a defense.
In fact, there have been zero. And I am almost certain there will be zero in Indiana.
Yeah, I can't imagine that defense would ever be successful. People have tried all kinds of angles on avoiding tax based on law that protects religion - it never works because those laws (including versions of the RFRA) are never interpreted to provide absolute protection. There's an analysis (that you know well) that evaluates the right asserted, the interest advanced by the law, and the manner in which the law is tailored to advance that interest.

Generally applicable taxes for government revenue aren't suspect to that kind of challenge.

The irony is that government at all levels has to devote substantial resources to handling these claims. They begin at an administrative level, and work through administrative appeals and then into adjudication and ultimately the courts . . . for what is ultimately a frivolous position. The private party lawyers are happy to take their fees but the government overhead is paid by the very taxes that these people detest and try to avoid. In the cumulative, all of this behavior drives need for tax revenue that should be unnecessary.
 

JimEverett

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Yeah, I can't imagine that defense would ever be successful. People have tried all kinds of angles on avoiding tax based on law that protects religion - it never works because those laws (including versions of the RFRA) are never interpreted to provide absolute protection. There's an analysis (that you know well) that evaluates the right asserted, the interest advanced by the law, and the manner in which the law is tailored to advance that interest.

Generally applicable taxes for government revenue aren't suspect to that kind of challenge.

The irony is that government at all levels has to devote substantial resources to handling these claims. They begin at an administrative level, and work through administrative appeals and then into adjudication and ultimately the courts . . . for what is ultimately a frivolous position. The private party lawyers are happy to take their fees but the government overhead is paid by the very taxes that these people detest and try to avoid. In the cumulative, all of this behavior drives need for tax revenue that should be unnecessary.
I understand that criticism.
At the same time I believe that when we are talking about fundamental rights - lets say rights guaranteed under the Constitution at a bare minimum, I don't see much problem in being inefficient in guaranteeing those rights.
I know many disagree, and maybe I am wrong in having this view, but I still view RFRAs as responses to limitations of religious freedom - not end arounds to existing civil rights protections. now if and when a RFRA is used as such an end around, I might change my mind.
 

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