A Shreveport attorney who has challenged the government for years on the legality of filing federal income taxes has been acquitted on charges he failed to file returns.
A federal jury unanimously found Tommy Cryer not guilty this week on two misdemeanor counts of failure to file.
And according to Cryer, the prosecution dismissed two felony charges of tax evasion prior to trial.
Attempts by The Times on Thursday to reach U.S. Attorney Donald Washington or Bill Flanagan, first assistant U.S. attorney, were not successful. Calls made to the two were not immediately returned.
“The court could not find a law that makes me liable or makes my revenues taxable,” Cryer said. “The Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot impose an income tax on anything but the profits and gains. When you work for someone you give your service and labor in exchange for money, so everything you make is not profit or gain. You put something into it.”
Cryer was indicted last year on two counts of tax evasion. The indictment alleged he evaded payment of $73,000 in income tax to the Internal Revenue Service during 2000 and 2001.
Cryer created a trust listing himself as the trustee, and received payments of dividends, interest and stock income to that trust, according to the indictment. He also was accused of concealing his receipt of the sources of income from the IRS by failing to file a tax return on behalf of that trust.
“I determined that my personal earnings were not 100 percent profits, some were income,” Cryer said. “I refuse to file, I refuse to pay unless they can show me I have a lawful reason to pay.”
“What I earned was my own personal labor. I am giving something in exchange. I’m giving my property and I don’t belong to anyone else.”
Cryer says he stopped filing returns more than 10 years ago after he investigated claims that income tax was a sham. He contends the law doesn’t actually tax personal earning.