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
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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