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Newspaper Page Text
WILL WILSON AND McADOO ALLOW THE U. S.
INCOME TAX TO REMAIN A JOKE?
BY BASIL M. MANLY
1 1 Noted Economic Investigator
The federal jjjcome tax for the
year ending June 30, 1915, yielded
only $80,190,694. The total tax col
lected should have been not less than
$400,000,000. The nation was thus
defrauded of at least $320,000,000
and probably more.
These enormous frauds were ac
complished in the time of the na
tion's greatest need and were perpe
trated by many of the same in
dividuals who are now calling most
loudly upon the nation for increased
expenditures to defend their prop
erty from real or fancied danger.
How are such enormous frauds
Is the wealth and income of the
nation so enormous that an income
tax ranging from 1 per cent to 6 per
cent will yield $400,000,000 taxes?
Who are the thieves?
Is the treasury department woe
fully inefficient or corrupt?
These are some of the questions
that must immediately spring to your
I am going to answer the last ques
tion first The treasury department
is not inefficient, measured by gov
ernment standards, and there is not
a bit of evidence to indicate that cor
ruption of treasury officials is re
sponsible for the enormous evasions.
The internal revenue bureau, which
is responsible for the collection of
the tax, lacks the men necessary to
enforce the tax under the existing
law and is not organized upon the
most efficient plan.
But the treasury department is not
in the first place responsible for the
failure to collect the tax.
The original responsibility rests
upon congress for introducing into
the law provisions which not only
invite fraud and evasion, but also
make the detection of income tax
thieves virtually impossible.
Congress invited fraud by provid
ing for the secrecy of returns, by
imposing the same criminal penal
ties upon any person for revealing
any information regarding income
frauds or evasions that are imposed
upon the tax thief who robs the
treasury of millions. Congress stim
ulated concealment of income by
providing that income from dividends
need not be reported by individuals
unless the net income was more than
$20,000. Congress encouraged eva
sion by providing that returns should
be made only when the net income
of individuals exceeded $3,000.
Congress protected the thieves by
providing that the income tax re
turns, although described as "public
records," should be open to public
inspection only upon formal order of
the president under the regulations
of the secretary of the treasury.
The president of the United States
and the secretary of the treasury are
respdhsible for the continuance of
the frauds because they have failed
to exercise the power given them by
congress to open the returns to the
public in order that the nation might
know who the tax thieves are and as
sist in recovering the millions they
Now as to those who are the in
come tax thieves:
The law effectually conceals their
individual identity. Only the U. S.
treasury dep't is permitted to know -and
its officials refuse to reveal any
definite information, although Sec'y
of the Treasury Wm. G. McAdoo
admits in his annual report that the
evasions by corporations alone
amount to more than $20,000,000!
My investigations have revealed
some of the great frauds' through
which millions- of- dollars of income
has escaped taxation. But even in
laying these cases before you I must
omit names, for to reveal any fact