Constitutional taxation — a study by Steven Miller

The income tax amendment was never to be interpreted to tax wages. This essay will provide the proof.

The income tax amendment is not what you believe.

Prerequisites to understanding this essay:
• Read my essay The Constitution Does Not Change, so that you will not be deceived by the false narrative.
• To understand the purpose of Direct Taxation read my essay The Constitution Requires a Balanced Budget.
• Read my comments on usury to understand that accepting bank interest on savings accounts is a taxable government granted privilege, NOT a right. Rights cannot be taxed. Privileges can be taxed.* You will need to know this to understand the phrase “incomes, from whatever source derived“ and the IRS phrase “income derived from labor”. My comments on usury are included in my essay Banks are the Enemy of Capitalism.


  • You were deceived.
  • Nobody in the U.S. Government told you to file a tax return.  There is a reason for this.
  • Once you enter into the federal government, you become subject to their jurisdiction.
  • You were tricked out of your rights because you did not learn in school that a forced signature is not a signature.  It is a crime to force a signature.
  • The income tax amendment was intended to tax the rich.  It would tax the bank interest on savings accounts.  It would not tax wages. Earning interest on bank accounts is a government granted privilege that can be taxed as an excise tax.
  • Excise taxes tax things.  Direct taxes tax people.  Strict laws protect each class of taxation.
  • The states ratified the income tax amendment because they were repeatedly assured that it would not tax wages.
  • The U.S. senators in 1913 ratified the income tax amendment because it would not tax wages.
  •  No one in 1913 interpreted the words of the income tax amendment to mean that it would tax wages.  Now almost everybody believes the lie.

Taxation in the U. S. Constitution

Let’s walk through the Constitution and read everything that has to do with taxation.

U.S. Constitution Article 1, section 2 requires the proportion of congressmen and the proportion of direct taxes to be based on state populations determined by a census:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

Commentary: Direct taxes shall be apportioned. This requirement was never removed by the Sixteenth Amendment. There are reasons why an Amendment cannot change the Constitution.

Article 1, section 8:

“Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; …”

Article 1, section 8 also tells us the territory over which the U.S. Legislature can make laws:

“To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;—And To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Article 1, section 8 also tells us that only Congress has the power

“…To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, …”

• Only Congress was given the authority to coin lawful money of the United States. The Federal Reserve Bank does not have this authority. But the year after they seized our gold coins they passed a law on January 10, 1934 making Federal Reserve Notes lawful money.
• Only Congress has the duty to regulate the value of money (not the Federal Reserve). Yet today’s value of a Federal Reserve dollar is less than 2% of a U.S. dollar.
• Hint #1: the IRS 1040 tax form line on which wages and salaries are to be entered has not had a dollar sign since 1964 when the U.S. Mint stopped minting silver coins.
• Hint #2: It is your fault for using non-lawful money. The official policy on this is found in the 1933 Senate Document Number 43 “Contracts Payable in Gold” after our gold was seized but you could still be paid in silver:

“The fact that citizens, at a given time, may prefer specie to currency, or vice versa, can not prevent Congress from enacting those laws which it deems necessary to the maintenance of a proper monetary system.”

Notice the word “proper”. They actually thought their pre-arranged conspiracy made their non-constitutional monetary system proper.

Article 1, section 9 provides for an import tax on slaves prior to 1808.

Article 1, section 9 also requires that:
• “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
• “No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
• “No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear or pay Duties in another.

Article 1, section 10:

“No State shall … emit bills of credit.”

Commentary: Your state’s debt should be zero. If it is more than zero, then your legislature is controlled by something other than the Supreme Law of the Land that judges in every state shall be bound thereby (Article 6, second paragraph).

14th Amendment

Fourteenth Amendment, section 2 requires the census to be reduced by those who are denied the right to vote for electors to the Electoral College. (thereby affecting the proportion of congressmen and direct taxes required by Article 1, section 2):

“Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and “Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twentyone years of age in such State.”

16th Amendment

The Sixteenth Amendment is often called the Income Tax Amendment. It says:

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

• Note: Government employees have had their wages taxed since 1862, long before the 16th amendment. My comments here do not apply to government wages.

  • Note: Those who use government privileges to make a profit must pay tax for the privilege. My comments here do not apply to government privileges.
  • The 1040 forms originally told taxpayers to enter income “derived from salaries, wages, or compensation for personal service …”. Do not be fooled.
  • If state citizens’ wages were not taxed before the 16th Amendment, then the 16th amendment did not confer a new power of taxation. The Constitution does not change. Those who swore an oath-of-office to uphold it cannot have any authority to change what they swore to uphold. And, by the way, Article 5 only allows amendments TO, but never an amendment OF, the Constitution.


This amendment’s words, as ratified, are very different from the original proposed amendment in Senate Joint Resolution 39 as published in Congressional Record June 11, 1909 page 3377.

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect direct taxes on incomes without apportionment among the several states according to population
 [emphasis added to help you spot the later changes]

The Senate Finance Committee revised it as Senate Joint Resolution 40, to what we have today. (published on Page 3900 of the Congressional Record of June 28, 1909).

Notice that the word “direct” was removed from the original proposed amendment. The phrase “according to population” was also removed.

The words “from whatever source derived” were added. The words “and without regard to any census or enumeration.” were added.

Nothing was changed by the 16th Amendment. The Supreme Court said that there is no new taxing authority.

The amendment DID NOT eliminate apportionment, nor convert direct taxes into indirect taxes.

The tax is still on the income (gain), not on the source of the money.

Since the word direct was deleted from the earlier proposed amendment, it can never be argued that it authorized a direct tax that is unapportioned among the states.

There is not now, nor can there ever be an unapportioned direct tax on incomes. (except for federal privileges, such as federal employees who were already subject to fed jurisdiction — and who’s wages were taxed since 1862 — long before the 16th Amendment).

The Senators who swore oaths to uphold and perpetuate the Constitution did not circumvent what they were sworn to uphold. Read their own words, as quoted in the Congressional Record, below.

Since tax collectors could always seize assets without regard to their source, no new taxing authority was created.



Many people seem to believe a myth that everyone’s wages were nationalized by the 16th Amendment in 1913.

It only includes income derived from a source of (unstated: government-privileged*) money or other taxable (government-privileged*) property. Not the source itself.

The income tax was intended to be a tax on the profits earned from capital gains and savings accounts of the wealthy. When the States ratified the 16th Amendment, they did so only upon the assurance, over and over again, that salaries would not be taxed. Only profit from savings was to be taxed, and only then as an indirect tax. Not as an unapportioned direct tax on people.

If you yearn to breathe free, you will need knowledge to flush yourself out of the matrix. If you want to repeat the false narrative that everyone’s wages are taxed, then you are part of the problem. Stockholm syndrome is a real mental disorder. Stop thinking like a slave.

The word income in the income tax amendment was meant only to include interest on savings accounts and capital gains of the wealthy. Here are proofs that the 16th Amendment was never intended to tax wages:

  • The states ratification debates were repeatedly told that the words of the 16th Amendment would not to be interpreted as taxing salaries.
  • New York Times August 3, 1909 front page. Excerpt. “The only interruption to his speech was a query by Representative Glover… – who wanted to know if the amendment would affect salaries.” If you have the same question, then read the response. You may safely ignore the part of the answer that said “unless Congress passed a law including salaries.”   because four years later the Senate debates, quoted below, show the intent of Congress:
  • Senate ratification debates in the Congressional Record, August 28 1913, Senator Lawrence Y. Sherman on page 3843 debating the income tax amendment, insisted that the word “income” referred only to earnings on savings accounts:

The savings from the income by professional effort or by any form of skilled labor or unskilled hand becomes property. At the end of any given period that saving is a principal, and any income derived from it is an income from property, not an income from the earning capacity or the personal ability of the taxpayer in question… Those investments that produce an income from a property I think are properly to be distinguished from those arising from the earning capacity of the individual.”

  • Also on page 3843 Senator Cummins :

“I assume that every lawyer will agree with me that we cannot legislatively interpret the meaning of the word ‘income’. That is purely a judicial matter. We cannot enlarge the meaning of the word ‘income’. The word ‘income’ had a well-defined meaning before the amendment … If we could call anything income that we pleased, we could obliterate all the distinction between income and principal…. Congress can not affect the meaning of the word ‘income’ by any legislation whatsoever…. obviously the people of this country did not intend to give to Congress the power to levy a direct tax upon all the property of this country without apportionment.”

That’s right. There is no apportioned direct tax on anyone. Any income derived from savings accounts becomes taxable, because it is collecting interest is a government granted privilege.

Here is proof that interest income is a government granted privilege. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1913 case, German Alliance Insurance Co. v. Kansas, 233 U.S. 389 at page 432 ruled that:

“Moreover, interest laws were in their inception not a restriction upon the right of contract but an enlargement, permitting what theretofore had been regarded both as an ecclesiastical and civil offense. … they therefore fall within the rule that contemporary practice, if subsequently continued and universally acquiesced in, amounts to an interpretation of the Constitution.”

How do you like that? By winking at criminals violating millennia of ethical values, we’ve let criminals (theretofore regarded as a crime, now unpunishable), interpret our Constitution for us. This Supreme Court case paved the way, later in 1913, for the Federal Reserve Act, and the Sixteenth Amendment.

If you believe that there is a direct tax on wages, then you must also believe that State Senates were fraudulently induced to vote for ratification — as in the NYT article quoted above. And you must also agree that the U.S. Senators, quoted above, were also fraudulently induced to vote for ratification. A fraudulently induced vote is not a vote. It is a crime.


  • The intent of the ratification is found in the Senate debates, quoted above.
    • The 1913 Form 1040 through the 1917 Form 1040 uses the words “income derived from salaries, wages or compensation for personal services…”
    • The 1918 Form 1040 through the 1920 Form 1040 dropped the word “derived” and only uses the phrase “income from …”
    • The 1921 to present Forms 1040 just say “income…” with no hint that the taxable part is only the gain derived from a (government-privileged*) money source.


And the courts agree:

  • U.S. v. Ballard 400 F2d 404:
    “The general term ‘income’ is not defined in the Internal Revenue Code.”
  • Wilby v. Mississippi, 47 S 465:
    “It certainly was not the intention of the legislature to levy a tax upon honest toil and labor.”
  • Edwards v. Keith, 231 Fed 1:
    “…. IRS cannot enlarge the scope of the statute”
  • US Supreme Court in Evens v. Gore, 253 US 245 concerning a tax on salary:
    “After further consideration, we adhere to that view and accordingly hold that the Sixteenth Amendment does not authorize or support the tax in question”.
  • Oliver v. Halstead 86 SE 2d 859:
    “Compensation for labor cannot be regarded as profit within the meaning of the law. The word ‘profit’, as ordinarily used, means the gain made upon any business or investment — a different thing altogether from mere compensation for labor.”
  • Olk v. United States, Fed 18 (1975) (don’t use this, it has been overturned):
    “Tips are gifts and therefore are not taxable.”
  • Spring Valley Water Works v. Barber 33 P 735:
    “A right common in every citizen such as the right to own property or to engage in business of a character not requiring regulation CANNOT, however, be taxed as a special franchise by first prohibiting its exercise and then permitting its enjoyment upon the payment of a certain sum of money.”
  • Tennessee Supreme Court in Jack Cole v. Commissioner MacFarland 337 SW2d 453 (1960):
    “The right to receive income or earnings is a right belonging to every person, and realization and receipt of income is therefore not a “privilege that can be taxed.” [quoted from: Taxation, West, Key 933]

In this 1960 case, the Tennessee Supreme Court also quoted prior decisions that defined the term `privilege’ in contradistinction to a right:
“Legislature … cannot name something to be a taxable privilege unless it is first a privilege.” “Privileges are special rights, belonging to the individual or class, and not to the mass; properly, an exemption from some general burden, obligation or duty; a right peculiar to some individual or body”

  • U.S. Supreme Court in Butcher’s Union v. Crescent City, 111 U.S. 746:

“Among these unalienable rights, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence is the right of men to pursue their happiness, by which is meant, the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others… It has been well said that, the property which every man has is his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property so it is the most sacred and inviolable… to hinder his employing this strength and dexterity in what manner he thinks proper, without injury to his neighbor, is a plain violation of the most sacred property”.

NOTE that your labor is property.

  • Staples v. United States, 21 F.Supp 737 at 739

The Sixteenth Amendment authorizes the taxation without apportionment of “incomes, from whatever source derived.” Income has been defined as “the gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined,” … Eisner v. Macomber, supra. In the case just cited Mr. Justice Pitney, after quoting the foregoing definition, said, 252 U. S. 189, at page 207, 40 S.Ct. 189, 193, 64 L. Ed. 521, 9 A.L.R. 1570:
“Brief as it is, it indicates the characteristic and distinguishing attribute of income essential for a correct solution of the present controversy. The government, although basing its argument upon the definition as quoted, placed chief emphasis upon the word `gain,’ which was extended to include a variety of meanings; while the significance of the next three words was either overlooked or misconceived. `Derived — from — capital’; `the gain — derived — from — capital,’ etc. Here we have the essential matter: not a gain accruing to capital; not a growth or increment of value in the investment; but a gain, a profit, something of exchangeable value, proceeding from the property, severed from the capital, however invested or employed, and coming in, being `derived’ — that is, received or drawn by the recipient (the taxpayer) for his separate use, benefit and disposal — that is income derived from property. Nothing else answers the description.
“The same fundamental conception is clearly set forth in the Sixteenth Amendment — `incomes, from whatever source derived’ — the essential thought being expressed with a conciseness and lucidity entirely in harmony with the form and style of the Constitution.”

  • U.S. Supreme Court in The Antelope case, 23 U.S. 66, 120:
    “That every man has a natural right to the fruits of his own labor, is generally admitted; and that no other person can rightfully deprive him of those fruits, and appropriate them against his will, seems to be the necessary result of this admission.”
  • 48 American Jurisprudence, pg. 80
    “ The right to labor and to its protection from unlawful interference is a constitutional as well as common-law right. Every man has a natural right to the fruits of his own industry”.
  • Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F.2d 945
    “ …. reflect the obvious concern that there be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights”.
  • In the 1959 Tax Court case Penn Mutual Indemnity Co. v. Commissioner (32 Tax Court page 681):
    “The rule of Eisner v. Macomber has been reaffirmed on so many occasions that citation of the cases to this effect would be unnecessarily burdensome… Moreover, that which is not income in fact manifestly cannot be made such by the legislative expedient of calling it income….”
  • Laureldale Cemetery Assoc. v. Matthews, 345 A 239, and 47 A.2d 277 (1946):
    “Reasonable compensation for labor or services rendered is not profit.”
  • US Supreme Court in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 US 105, at 113 (1943):
    “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal constitution.”
    See my endnote, below.*
  • U.S. Supreme Court in Spreckels Sugar Refining Co. v. Mclain, 192 US 397, 24 SCt 382 (1904):
    Judge Gray, dissenting, said: “Keeping in mind the well settled rule, that the citizen is exempt from taxation, unless the same is imposed by clear and unequivocal language, and that where the construction of a tax is doubtful, the doubt is to be resolved in favor of those upon whom the tax is sought to be laid,”
  • Oregon Supreme Court in Redfield v. Fisher, 292 P 813, page 819 (1930):
    “The individual, unlike the corporation, cannot be taxed for the mere privilege of existing. The corporation is an artificial entity which owes its existence and charter powers to the state: but the individuals’ right to live and own property are natural rights for the enjoyment of which an excise cannot be imposed.”
  • Long v. Ramussen, 281 F 236, 238 (1922):
    “The revenue laws are a code or system in regulation of tax assessment and collection. They relate to taxpayers, and not to non-taxpayers. The later are without their scope. No procedure is prescribed for non-taxpayers, and no attempt is made to annul any of their rights and remedies in due course of law. With them Congress does not assume to deal, and they are neither of the subject nor of the object of the revenue law.” Reaffirmed in Gerth v. US, 132 F Supp 894 (1955) and in Economy Heating Co. v. US, 470 F2d 585 (1972)


The current income tax law has been amended over the years, but it all started with one sentence written by congress to implement the Income Tax Amendment. This is the first paragraph of the 1913 Income Tax law 38 Stat 166. This is the ONLY law that the government says applies to federal citizens. It is only one sentence. The rest of the 37 pages are for income tax of corporations.

Here is the first paragraph of the 1913 Income Tax law 38 Stat 166. This is the ONLY law that the government says applies to federal citizens:

“That there shall be levied, assessed, collected and paid annually upon the entire net income arising or accruing from all sources in the preceding calendar year to every citizen of the United States , whether residing at home or abroad, and to every person residing in the United States , though not a citizen thereof , a tax of 1 per centum per annum upon such income, EXCEPT as herein after provided; and a like tax shall be assessed, levied, collected, and paid annually upon the entire net income from all property owned and of every business, trade or profession carried on in the United States by persons residing elsewhere.”


Twenty Fourth Amendment:

“SECTION. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.”



* Governments are instituted among men to secure rights, not to tax them. Rights cannot be taxed. The US Supreme Court in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 US 105, at page 140 (1943): “The ultimate question in determining the constitutionality of a tax measure is — has the state given something for which it can ask a return? ”



A former fRS agent does not pay income tax:

Now that you know there is no unapportioned direct tax on anyone, you might be interested in how the IRS gets away with collecting from you an indirect excise tax. Read my essay Revenue Taxable Activity.

My essay From Whom do the Kings of the Earth Exact Tribute explains that direct taxation of citizens throughout history has always been prohibited since Biblical times. Whereas aliens have always been taxed. Welcome to your Novus Ordo Seclorum.