Washington (Jan. 14, 2004) -- An administrative law judge has barred a former Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation agent from practice before the agency.

In its complaint against San Jose-based CPA Joseph Banister, the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility alleged that Banister was misrepresenting the law to taxpayers and that he failed to file his own federal income tax returns for tax years 1999 to 2002.

The judge found that Banister provided erroneous advice to taxpayers, including improperly advising them that they weren’t required to file returns because the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was not properly ratified. Banister also provided erroneous advice that returns weren’t required because Sections 861 through 865 of the Internal Revenue Code define “income” in a manner which excluded their earnings.

In his decision, Judge William B. Moran said, “the very significant problem with Banister’s advice to his clients is that it is absolutely wrong.” He noted that “Banister’s assertions have been addressed by so many federal courts that they are no longer afforded the dignity of repeating the explanations as to why the claims are meritless.”

-- WebCPA staff

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