Attorney-at-Law

YES, MINISTER

In Uncategorized on 11/17/2021 at 20:12

No, Judge Nega has not assumed the role of Permanent Secretary to James E. Van Pelt,  Docket No. 13494-20, filed 11/17/21*, though James E. is a minister; James E. is a Congregational minister in CT who thinks he shouldn’t pay income taxes. This is no Britcom; this is an off-the-bencher.

We’ve seen ministerial frivolites before now, and James E. is neither the Alpha nor the Omega, neither first nor last, to encounter Section 61. Judge Nega doesn’t expend much “somber reasoning and copious citation of precedent” in sending off James E., with a $2K Section 6673 chop, pour encourager les autres.

“We find that petitioner has advanced a frivolous and groundless argument in this proceeding. In his petition, petitioner contended that he is a ‘worker of common right and a nontaxpayer’ and thus ‘not subject to the jurisdiction of revenue law because of his occupation.’ Despite the Court’s warning in its order of September 8, 2021 that such an argument is frivolous, petitioner has continued to advance it in his most recent filing (Exhibit 1003-P) and at trial. In his most recent filing, petitioner continues to claim that his compensation is excluded from gross income and that he is not subject to self-employment tax. These contentions have no merit and reflect common tax protestor arguments.” Transcript, at p. 10.

Note that “(S)ection 3401(a)(9) provides that compensation for services paid to a ‘duly ordained, commissioned or licensed minister of a church’ (church minister) is not wages for purposes of employment taxes and thus not subject to withholding and payment by a church employer. See sec. 3402(a); see also sec. 3121(b)(8). Instead, the provision of services by a church minister generally constitutes a trade or business, and a church minister’s wages are subject to self-employment tax. See sec. 1402(c)(4); id. at (c) (flush language); see also Knight v. Commissioner, 92 T.C. 199, 201-202 (1989). While a church minister is permitted to submit a certificate seeking exemption from self-employment tax on religious or conscientious grounds, see sec. 1402(e), petitioner has not alleged – nor does the record indicate – that he timely did so for [year at issue].” Transcript, at pp. 8-9.

Yes Minister, you must pay taxes.

*James E Van Pelt 13494-20 11 17 21

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