I’m not recommending that you try this one at home, but it appears to have worked for Robert Lawrence in federal District Court in Illinois. Here’s the scoop from We the People:
On Wednesday, May 10, Stilley mailed a set of documents to the DOJ in response to DOJ’s discovery demands. The documents revealed to DOJ for the first time that Lawrence was basing his entire defense on an act of Congress, 44 U.S.C. 3500 ““ 3520, also known as the “Paperwork Reduction Act” (PRA).
In Section 3512 of the Act, titled “Public Protection,” it says that no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with an agency’s collection of information request (such as a 1040 form), if the request does not display a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the requirements of the Act, or if the agency fails to inform the person who is to respond to the collection of information that he is not required to respond to the collection of information request unless it displays a valid control number.
In Section 3512 Congress went on to authorize that the protection provided by Section 3512 may be raised in the form of a complete defense at any time during an agency’s administrative process (such as an IRS Tax Court or Collection and Due Process Hearing) or during a judicial proceeding (such as Lawrence’s criminal trial).
In sum, the PRA requires that all government agencies display valid OMB control numbers and certain disclosures directly on all information collection forms that the public is requested to file. Lawrence’s sole defense was he was not required to file an IRS Form 1040 because it displays an invalid OMB control number.
I’m not going to engage in the debate over the fraudulent nature of the IRS or the ratification of the 16th Amendment, but I do find it really cool that the IRS got zinged on a paperwork reduction procedure. If any agency deserves to be targeted for bureaucratic paperwork requirements, it’s the IRS.