Updated December 12, 2004

16 weeks for $17.76
1 year for $49 New
2 years for $99

1 year for $39
2 years for $69

Special Online Gift Subscription, $25!








Tax Activist Faces Prison

Tax Activist Faces Prison

Former IRS agent punished for exposing truth about income tax


By John Tiffany


Former gun-toting IRS-CID agent Joseph Banister, 41, now a certified public accountant in San Jose, Calif., appeared in U.S. District Court in Sacramento recently to face charges for numerous alleged tax crimes. Banister was taken into custody Nov. 19 by IRS agents and released on $25,000 bond after pleading not guilty. Supporters of Banister charge that this indictment is retaliation by the Department of Justice for Banister exposing the “truth” about the income tax.

Banister is married, and he and his wife have two boys, aged 16 and 13.

Banister is a regular speaker at tax protester events and has published a book called Investigating the Income Tax. He has appeared on national TV interviews—where, strangely, he admits that he himself reports and pays his income tax, although advocating to others that payment of income taxes and filing of returns are “voluntary.” Apparently, however, he does not file a 1040 Form as such. Two of the issues his book promotes, as being legally valid, are:

(1) An individual is not required to file tax returns because by doing so, the individual waives his Fifth Amendment rights. And (2) you don’t need to file federal income tax returns because the 16th Amendment, which gives Congress “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes,” was never properly ratified. Unfortunately, the courts have repeatedly rejected these arguments in the past.

Commented Steve Bruce of American People Opposed to Social Security Entrapment: “We went out of our way to warn Banister years ago that his arguments were flawed, but he just would not listen. Any CID agent should know these arguments are legally flawed and that they have failed non-filers in criminal cases over and over again for years.”

Banister and thousands of other Americans have repeatedly requested hearings with the IRS and Department of Justice to answer a number of what they consider to be valid and important legal questions regarding the application of the income tax. Repre sentatives of those agencies finally agreed to hold public hearings on Feb. 27 and 28, 2002, but then reneged and continue to refuse to respond to any challenge or, as Banister puts it, “reasonable questions.”

The federal indictment accuses Banister and co-defendant Walter A. Thompson, 57, of Redding, Calif., of conspiring to defraud the United States of approximately $259,669 in income and employment taxes.

Banister and Thompson allegedly decided to remove Thompson’s employees from taxpayer rolls by no longer withholding employment taxes from wages and not filing employer’s quarterly tax returns and other required forms.

At an October 2000 staff meeting, Thompson told his employees that the pay they received for their work was not income under IRS regulations, the indictment said.

Thompson was arrested Nov. 19 after a car chase at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The California Highway Patrol finally stopped him after laying down a strip of spikes to flatten the tires of his car. Thompson refused to leave the car for 10 minutes, said the Highway Patrol. “Eventually we persuaded him to come out, and he was arrested without incident or injury.”

Thompson has been jailed four times for refusing to cooperate with state tax auditors or file returns and pay federal taxes, the mainstream media reported.

Banister is charged with three counts of aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns for Thompson, owner of Cencal Sales, manufacturer of aviation travel bags. Thompson is charged with one count of filing a false income tax return and 10 counts of failing to collect and pay more than $176,000 in taxes from his employees.

If convicted of all counts, Banister could be sentenced to 14 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Thompson could receive 68 years and a fine of $3.5 million.

Trial has been set for 1:30 p.m., Jan. 19, 2005, in Judge William B. Shubb’s courtroom. A legal defense fund has been set up: Joseph Banister Legal Defense Fund, P.O. Box 90239, San Jose, Calif. 95109-4239.

Thompson is pro se with a federal public defender as adviser.

Banister is being represented by Don Kilmer of San Jose, a well-known champion of the Second Amend ment, and Jeff Dickstein, one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the country.

Banister says: “I have always believed with all my heart that if a day came when defending against the bully’s club brought hardship to those I care most about, somehow, some way, God would provide. With that faith buried in my heart and alive to this day, I forged ahead and blew the whistle on the most feared entity in our country. . . . My faith perseveres. I [now] know what it is like to feel such stress that I sweat blood in the garden of Gethsemane or to stand amidst God’s most fearsome creatures in a den of lions. . . . Please pray for this effort as often as you can.”


Not Copyrighted. Readers can reprint and are free to redistribute - as long as full credit is given to American Free Press - 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20003