Tax Objector's Strategy To Prevent Garnishment Does Not Constitute Tax Evasion

The Oregonian last week reported on a partial court victory by Christian tax objector Michael Bowman who for the last nearly 20 years has refused to file income tax returns unless some accommodation is made so none of his tax monies support abortion.  When in 2012 Oregon tax authorities began to garnish Bowman's bank account, he moved to keep only a small balance in his checking account by cashing his pay checks rather than depositing them.  This led federal authorities last year to charge him with felony counts of tax evasion.  However, last week an Oregon federal district court held that merely cashing pay checks, when his income was fully reported to the IRS, could not constitute tax evasion.  However Bowman still faces four federal misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file tax returns.

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