IRS News Release  
July 01, 1996

Reparation Tax Claims Still Being Denied

The Internal Revenue Service is once again receiving and denying thousands of illegitimate tax claims for slavery reparations to African-Americans.

In April 1993, Essence Magazine published an article leading African-Americans to believe they could file tax claims with the IRS for reparations payable to descendants of slaves.

The basis for the claims dates back to the post-Civil War period when Congress voted to provide former slaves 40 acres and a mule as a form of redress for their years in slavery. The bill was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, and there is currently no provision in the Internal Revenue Code that allows for any reparation payable to African-Americans for slavery.

After the article appeared, the IRS received and denied more than 20,000 of these illegitimate tax claims in 1994. The issue still arises sporadically and the IRS receives and denies more of the claims. Recently, the issue came up again, with scam operators telling people they can fill out IRS Form 2439, a notice to shareholders of undistributed long-term capital gains, to collect the slavery reparations. IRS forms distribution sites are now receiving thousands of requests daily for Form 2439.

These claims are illegitimate and will be denied. Taxpayers making claims for reparations for slavery will receive a denial letter from IRS. Taxpayers who file a subsequent tax claim for reparations after they receive a denial notice could receive a $500 penalty for filing a frivolous tax return. Last spring, a Dallas man was charged with causing the filing of a fraudulent return in a related situation in that city. His trial is pending.

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