Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wesley Snipes' Tax Problems

A few weeks ago, I read about the IRS going after actor Wesley Snipes for tax fraud. Here's the indictment. Briefly, the alleged fraud is based on someone's spurious argument that, in essence, income from domestic activities is not taxable. I've looked into these arguments before. Hey, you never know, I thought -- maybe I don't have to pay taxes after all! After reading over the web materials of some of the advocates, though, it all seemed quite silly.

At the time of the indictment, I thought I read that Snipes was very active in pushing the argument himself, and even trying to convince others. But I can't find any evidence of that now, so maybe i'm wrong about that.

Anway, they couldn't find Snipes for a while, but he is now talking finally (he's in Namibia, fimling a movie), and here's what he had to say:

"I know this has more to do with a few individuals with access to power, making moves (trying to move up!) and less with some alleged crime against the whole population of the United States of America. This reminds me of rape cases where the 'victim' is flipped, turned or converted into the role of victimizer, the 'architect conspirator,' " Snipes writes. "It appears I'm to be the scapegoat, because there's more public interest in 'celebrities gone bad' than 'rich people being taken advantage of.' "


"I've injured no one, I've violated no one's rights and (as far as I know) I owe no one," the actor writes. "If I have violated someone, than I'm prepared to seek forgiveness and make amends. One is an artist and scholar seeking truth through diligent study and spiritual practice. Perhaps people like that have now become the enemy of the State."

His defense seems to be that he's being targeted because he's a celebrity. If he wants to stay out of jail, I think he's going to have to do better than that.

UPDATE: This blog post appears to contain the full text of Snipes' email quoted above. He seems to think he has done nothing wrong. It will be interesting to see when both sides tell their stories in full.

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