John McAfee Doesn't File Income Tax Returns, But You Should

John McAfee, the multi-millionaire antivirus software creator, said on Twitter that he has not filed a tax return in 8 years.  Failure to file tax returns can result in criminal and civil liability and is not recommended.jail

McAfee said on Twitter,

"I have not filed a tax return for 8 years. Why? 1: taxation is illegal. 2: I paid tens of millions already and received Jack Shit in services. 3. I'm done making money. I live off of cash from McAfee Inc. My net income is negative. But I am a prime target for the IRS. Here I am."

Arguments that taxation is illegal have been rejected by the courts .  "The source of the taxing power is not the 16th amendment; it is article I, section 8, of the Constitution." Penn Mutual Indemnity Co. v. Commissioner, 32 T.C. 653 (1959).

A Taxpayer making such arguments should be aware that their own words may be used against them as a sign that their failure to file was due to willfulness. Willfullness is a required element of both felony tax evasion and misdemeanor failure to file under 26 U.S. Code Sections 7201 and 7203, respectively.

Filing requirements vary significantly.   McAfee may not have had a filing requirement.  Whether a Taxpayer is required to file a return is dependent on a number of factors including, but not limited to age, dependency status, amount of income, and type of income received.  Full filing requirement standards can be located within IRS Publication 501.

Even if a Taxpayer does not have a filing requirement it is often advisable that they file to prevent the IRS from preparing an Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR).  An ASFR usually results in a tax liability for the Taxpayer and in all cases is a headache to reverse.

Contact a tax attorney.  If you have not filed your income tax returns or are unsure if you have a filing requirement, then contact a tax attorney to determine your legal duty to file.