I have previously quoted Judge Learned Hand’s famous quote regarding the duty that United States Citizens have to their country when paying taxes. In a legal opinion Judge Hand stated:
“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”
It seems that the views of Judge Hand are increasingly under attack. Recent news headlines announce that world leaders meeting at the recent G8 Summit have struck an agreement to collectively crack down on businesses that avail themselves of international tax planning, vowing to close what they deem “loopholes” in each country’s respective tax code. In other recent news, one high ranking Bishop from the Church of England was quoted as saying that to avail oneself of tax avoidance strategies is to sin in the eyes of God. Click here for more information. Despite this recent rhetoric, thoughtful tax planning remains both legal and financially responsible. Furthermore, in this climate, it is likely that the IRS and state taxing authorities will continue to be aggressive in their enforcement of tax laws. Careful tax planning coupled with a strong and competent defense will be increasingly necessary in the changing landscape of tax controversy. The trusted tax attorneys of the Dana Law Firm can aid you in taking advantage of the current tax landscape and can defend your rights before the IRS and state taxing agencies.
Written by Phoenix Tax Attorney Shad Brown