Glossary Term

Tax Protest Movement

The oldest wing of the “Patriot” movement, the tax protest movement dates back to the mid-1960s. In contrast to people who merely dislike taxes, adherents of the tax protest movement claim that they have a Constitutional or legal right not to pay income taxes. Tax protesters use pseudo-legal arguments to assert that they have no such obligations, such as the notion that income taxes apply only to corporations, not individuals, or that the Sixteenth Amendment, which authorized the federal income tax, was never lawfully ratified. Adherents claim that a conspiracy is hiding the fact that most Americans need pay no taxes, so that Americans will continue to pay. The movement was exported to Canada in the 1990s. The right-wing tax protest movement should not be confused with a different, left-wing tax protest movement that opposes paying taxes on moral grounds due to the fact that income taxes go to support the U.S. military. Such tax protesters are often known was “war tax resisters.”