IRS ABUSE OF TAXPAYERS' FIFTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS DEFEATED

The 1993 Troescher case (No. CV-93-5736 SVW) was typical of IRS abuse of citizens' constitutional rights wherein a client of Joe Izen was denied his Fifth Amendment right not to testify or furnish evidence against himself because of fear of possible criminal prosecution. For years, the IRS has succeeded in getting judges to allow them to proceed in spite of the Fifth Amendment under the guise of a supposed "Tax Crime Exception" to use of the Fifth Amendment by IRS targets.

The District Court reluctantly denied Troescher protection under the Fifth Amendment and ordered him to comply with the IRS and produce documents for tax years 1986-1992 and answer a series of questions asked by the IRS.

The case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as No. 95-55609) by Joe Izen and the order to compel was stayed by the District Court pending appeal.

The Ninth Circuit rendered a decision on November 7, 1996 which was a great victory for the constitutional law in that the Appeals Court ruled:

[1] There is no general "tax-crime" exception to the Fifth Amendment. Troescher's Fifth Amendment claims were not defeated simply because he feared prosecution for tax crimes.

[2] Ninth Circuit caselaw is clear that the Fifth Amendment may be validly invoked when the taxpayer fears prosecution for tax crimes.

On remand to the United States District Court, Judge Stephen V. Wilson went well beyond the court of appeals in detailing the exact meaning of the protection in Troescher's case. The resulting Order Denying the IRS's Motion to Compel was only in compliance with the ruling of the higher court. However, the listing by the district court of some 33 questions asked by the IRS that Troescher was justified in not answering under the protection of the Fifth Amendment was a ruling of courage that one would expect from statesmen judges who are so rare these days.. This decision is so overwhelming that it will almost certainly bring significant changes in the abusive IRS tactics of the past and place much more emphasis on collection of data and other information by the IRS prior to proceeding against a taxpayer.

Please read Troescher v. U.S. No. 93-5736 SVW (SHx) filed December 29, 1997 to see these 33 questions, but be advised that defending yourself in such a trial attempting to use the Fifth Amendment is fraught with legal hazards and may result in denial of your rights and/or even contempt charges. A competent attorney should be hired to apply the correct legal technique to provide protection.

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