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July 19, 2007

Withholding On The Ropes?

U.S. Unable To Prove It's Not Voluntary


The
United States appears to have bitten off more than it can chew when it sued Bob Schulz and the We The People organizations earlier this year in an effort to shut down "Operation Stop Withholding." 

In the lawsuit, the Government accused WTP of operating an unlawful "abusive tax shelter" in violation of IRC Sections 6700 and 6701, citing the organization's efforts to urge individuals to terminate their W-4 wage and salary withholding agreements.

In response to the lawsuit served on Schulz on May 3, 2007, Schulz filed a motion to have the case dismissed on the ground that Operation Stop Withholding is not only fully protected by the First Amendment (including the Petition clause), it is protected because We The People organization is educating People about the withholding laws as they are currently written and which expressly provide that such agreements are voluntary. 

The Government's lawsuit has asked the District Court to issue an injunction prohibiting WTP's efforts to educate Americans about the legal termination of private withholding agreements. WTP's efforts rely on "black letter" law which clearly establishes that Withholding Agreements (W-4s) are voluntary and that a worker can -- at any time -- terminate his W-4 by simply notifying the company that he no longer gives his permission to the company to withhold from his pay. 

The Government finds itself in a very tough spot.

On one hand, it is asking the Court to shut the WTP program down, but on the other hand, neither the IRS nor the attorneys at the Department of Justice have been able to dispute or refute the simple truth that the law itself plainly establishes that withholding is voluntary and permission to withhold can be easily withdrawn by workers at their sole discretion.  

(continued...)

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