The Internal Revenue Service is one of the most hated entities in America. No American enjoys paying taxes especially since many of those taxes go to pay for and fund institutions many find morally repugnant and vile – institutions like Planned Parenthood for example.
There have been discussions for decades about defunding Planned Parenthood but insofar as any real action to do so, there has not been much, if anything, has actually been done. Many people justify the payment of our income taxes by due to the necessity of infrastructures like roads, bridges, and hospitals. There are also services like the fire department or the public library to consider as well. However, there are also other darker, more morally reprehensible things such as the wholesale murder of the unborn bought and paid for via Title X tax funds that support entities like Planned Parenthood as the largest abortion provider in the country and also as a purveyor of human fetal remains.
Michael Bowman is an American and a devout Christian and he is taking a stand. Tired of empty promises and no action Bowman cited his Christian faith as a legal defense against the government in a felony tax evasion case and actually won the first round in court!
According to the Daily Mail –
“Michael Bowman told U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman on Thursday that he is not a tax protester and considers himself a true patriot, but refuses to give a dime of his money if its allocated to fund government subsidized abortions.
Mosman noted in his ruling that prosecutors failed to prove Bowman tried to conceal or mislead the government by keeping a low bank account balance so tax collectors couldn’t garnish his account to pay taxes, according to The Oregonian.
‘Not everything that makes collection efforts more difficult qualifies as evasion,” the judge added Wednesday.
Bowman said that he has refused to pay federal income taxes since 1999, arguing that the government must make accommodations for his strongly held religious beliefs.
‘I’m not a tax protester. I love my country. I have a duty to my country. I have a duty to my conscience,” the 53-year-old contract engineer from Columbus City.
US federal prosecutors say that Bowman has failed to submit a timely or accurate tax return since 1997.
In retaliation for his perceived crimes, the IRS levied Bowman’s bank account in January of 2012 as well as garnishing his wages in an effort to pay what the government states he owes. Bowman states he then began to make the necessary adjustments in how he conducted his financial transactions. He chose to cash his checks and receive the cash from an entity other than his bank as well as keeping a low bank statement from January 2010 to January 2014 in an effort to circumvent the IRS and their collection efforts.
Assistant U.S Attorneys Donna Brecker Maddux and Rachel K. Sowray wrote in their original criminal complaint against Bowman – “Defendant’s altered bank behavior removed his income from the reach of taxing authorities and allowed him to avoid payment of assessed taxes.”
The indictment against Bowman states he owes $356,857 to the federal government in back taxes along with significant penalties accumulated from the years of 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2009, along with his failures to pay his income tax to the IRS from 2012 to 2014.
Except Judge Mossman did not see things in quite the same way as the prosecution, noting that they failed to prove Bowman in any way attempted to conceal or mislead the government by keeping a low bank balance. Bowman’s attorney argued before the court that it was not a crime to deposit a check and to subsequently withdraw that cash from a bank account especially given that all checks were disclosed to the IRS through his employer.
Defense attorney Matthew Schindler states – “Like a player collapsing as they lose Twister, the government has reached too far forward and stretched way too far back. Cashing a check at your own bank, made out to you, representing income contemporaneously disclosed by employers through 1099 and W-2 forms to the IRS is not ‘handling one’s affairs to avoid making records.”
Mossman agreed with the defense and wrote in his rendering of the legal decision – “Just cashing checks is not evasion.” However, Mossman ruled that the case would be dismissed without prejudice which means the government can, in turn, reopen the case against Bowman and refile the charges against him in court if they should choose to do so. The prosecution has stated that the government will need to deliberate on whether they will choose to prosecute the case a second time and then will assess if they plan to move forward. Bowman still currently faces four separate counts of willful failure to file tax returns which would be a misdemeanor for each count.