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Lacking the Wisdom To Pay Taxes

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) typically takes several years for one to acquire. The term “philosophy” is in reference to its Greek meaning, “love of wisdom.”

Apparently, not all Ph.D recipients have the widsom to pay their taxes. Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced its charges brought against David Gilmartin, an economist with a Ph.D, including tax evasion, obstruction of the IRS, failure to file a tax return, and failure to pay taxes.

From the DOJ press release:

Despite being paid compensation for every year between 1989 and 2010, Gilmartin failed to file tax returns with the IRS as required, and failed to pay more than $500,000 that he owed in taxes. As alleged, Gilmartin took various steps to evade his tax obligations and obstruct the IRS’s ability to collect back taxes, including:

  • Submitting IRS forms to certain employers in which he falsely and fraudulently claimed to be exempt from taxes, in order to cause the employers not to withhold taxes;
  • Providing someone else’s Social Security number to his employer and representing that it was his;
  • Refusing to provide an employer with his Social Security number, citing a purported “religious objection,” in an attempt to prevent the employer from withholding taxes;
  • Causing checks paid to him as compensation to be made payable to a finance company, in order to pay down a personal line of credit and to prevent the IRS from seizing, pursuant to bank levies, the funds paid to him as compensation;
  • Causing checks that were paid to him as compensation to be cashed against a personal bank account rather than be deposited; and
  • Causing checks paid to him as compensation to be endorsed directly to a bank rather than deposited in a personal bank account, in order to pay outstanding balances on his credit card with that bank and to prevent the IRS from seizing, pursuant to bank levies, the funds paid to him as compensation.

Of course, Mr. Gilmartin is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. You may view the indictment detailing the charges here.

The indictment alleges Gilmartin refused to provide an employer his social security number, citing a purported “religious objection.” We may have a tax protester before us. Cases involving tax protesters do not end in the taxpayers’ favor.

Hat tip: TaxProf Blog

  1. Matthew Rappaport
    April 20th, 2012 at 15:23 | #1

    Not providing your SSN due to a “religious objection?” What religion is that?

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