Top Tax Excuses: If you're not a citizen, you don't have to pay taxes

This post was written as part of a series on tax excuses that don't work.

Wouldn't it be nice to get out of paying taxes just by not being a citizen of the United States? Well it's not quite that easy.

The scam goes like this... A tax protestor says that he is rejecting his U.S. citizenship and is instead a citizen of the state in which he lives. He says that only U.S. citizens are subject to tax laws, therefore he's exempt and doesn't have to pay any income taxes.

That all sounds lovely, but the U.S. Constitution says that doesn't work. You're a citizen of the U.S. and of the state you live in, and you can't just pretend you're not a U.S. citizen. And anyway, U.S. tax laws apply to all citizens and residents.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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