Hey, your taxes are due this week—or are they?
Yes, they are, that was a figure of speech and not a suggestion that you should treat federal taxes as optional. That is one of the many arguments you should not bother making on Wednesday.
Turns out that the IRS has a publication that lists and summarizes a number of arguments not to make, entitled "The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments." Part of that truth is that there are lots of frivolous tax arguments—the PDF is over 65 pages long and addresses 44 (sometimes overlapping) "contentions" that will be rejected if you assert them. Here are just a few.
1. Paying federal taxes is optional.
What, have you been paying all this time? Well, that's good because it's actually not optional. There are several versions of this one, many of which note that the IRS and Supreme Court have each described the U.S. tax system as "voluntary." FYI, they do not mean "optional," they mean that in our system the citizens generally assess and pay taxes themselves, as opposed to having a government agent show up and count your sheep (or whatever you have) every time. To be fair, it does seem like they should start using a word other than "voluntary" to describe this process. But "optional" won't be that word.