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Beware these 'dirty dozen' tax scams that can cost you big and even land you in jail

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Frivolous tax arguments
Frivolous tax arguments | Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

Frivolous tax arguments

The IRS refers to various claims to avoid filing and paying taxes as "frivolous arguments." A better name is "jailbait."

A popular claim is that return filing is voluntary. It's not. In fact, the IRS has tougher penalties for not filing than it does for not paying taxes owed.

Some taxpayers believe they can refuse to pay taxes on religious or moral grounds by invoking the First Amendment. Others say that only federal government employees must pay income tax. Not true.

Then there's the argument that wages, tips and other compensation received for personal services are not income. Please check the dictionary along with the tax code. Money received via whatever method is income. And it is subject to an income tax.

These are only a few of the frivolous tax arguments that anti-tax advocates use to encourage taxpayers to avoid filing and paying taxes. The IRS has a 68-page list of them that you should check before falling for these scams.

Taxpayers could face criminal prosecution for tax evasion as well as a felony conviction for filing a false return.

And if you are still tempted, just remember that they didn't do Wesley Snipes -- who served tax evasion time in a federal prison -- any good.

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