One litigant argues that the tax code creates the new religion of “taxism” in violation of the First Amendment. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
Ben Franklin reportedly said, “There is nothing certain in life except for death and taxes.” Well, in a 548-page complaint, one man has targeted at least one of those certainties, and it’s not death.
Terry Lee Hinds contends that the United States Tax Code has violated the Constitution by establishing “taxism,” an institutionalized faith and religion. Because the tax code has the effect of favoring and even promoting organized religions through tax breaks and other benefits, Mr. Hinds believes the tax code is in violation of the First Amendment.
Well, I suppose this is the sort of case that law students are forced to grapple with, but actually have little effect in the real world. Some may dream such a lawsuit is the silver bullet to bring down our ghoulish tax system. Alas, Mr. Hinds’ lawsuit will not free us from the taxman’s visit every April 15.
For one reason, taxpayers have a lot of hurdles to overcome just to bring the lawsuit. Mere allegations—even ones dressed up in the garb of a First Amendment challenge—that they do not like to pay taxes will not be sufficient.
For now, Mr. Hinds and the rest of us will have to continue to pay our taxes and, most importantly, the religious charities and houses of worship that are exempt from them will continue to be exempt.