A Tax Teaser To Share Far And Wide

If you can't solve this riddle, then we suggest you deliver it by EMAIL, FAX, U.S.P.S., or BY HAND to your Tax Professional, preferably one who is an "Enrolled Agent" with the IRS. It'll make his day!

The United States Code Annotated is a multi-volume publication that includes the complete text of the United States Code, together with case notes of state and federal decisions that demonstrate the application of specific sections of United States law and provide cross references to related sections, historical notes and library references. The United States Code Annotated is perhaps the publication most widely used by attorneys, legal scholars and others researching United States law, and has been in use at least as long as the income tax laws have been on the books. Is this a fair statement?

In the index to the Annotated Code, under the heading 'Citizens' you will find the subheading 'Citizenship'. Under 'Citizenship', if you scan carefully for all cites that contain a "26" in bold type (That would be Title 26 United States Code or the Internal Revenue Code), you will only find two cites, both referencing a 'gift tax'. If there is a reference to the "gift tax" under "Citizenship", then why is there no reference to the 'income tax' under that same heading?

Now then, if we go to the index heading 'INCOME TAX' under the subheading for 'Citizens', we note that there are only two cites: (a) citizens about to depart the United States and (b) citizens living abroad. Why do the only two references to "income tax" for "citizens" have to do with those citizens about to leave the country and those citizens living abroad?

Next, under 'INCOME TAX', following the subheading 'Aliens', we find a cross-reference to the major heading 'ALIENS' in the index. Under that heading 'ALIENS', there is a subheading entitled 'Income tax', and there we find some NINE PAGES of Title 26 laws that apply to 'aliens'. Among the Internal Revenue (Title 26) laws affecting 'aliens' are such familiar tax terms as 'deductions', 'exemptions', 'gross income', 'joint returns', and 'withholding of tax'.

After some 80 years or better, why does the index of the United States Code Annotated seem to show that the 'income tax' applies only to 'aliens'?