I was at dinner with some friends one night when they dropped a bomb on me. They told me that because of what they’d learned about tax law, they hadn’t paid a penny of income tax in years. More astoundingly, they told me they no longer filed income tax returns. I initially thought they were pulling my leg, but they weren’t. Had anyone other than these men told me they no longer filed tax returns, I would not have believed them. I was confused.
Everyone knows you have to file an annual tax return. Yet I knew these men well. They were business professionals and impeccably honest. If they said they didn’t file income tax returns, they didn’t. My confusion came from the disconnect between what I’d always understood to be true versus what two trusted friends had just shared with me. I asked them to explain what they’d learned about this seemingly ultimate loophole. Much to my surprise, they refused to tell me. (Little did I know they were doing me a favor.)
The said they were tired of telling people what they’d learned only to have it repeatedly be dismissed out of hand. They gave me the name of two books and told me where I could get them. They said if I purchased the books and read them, thus showing an interest in the subject, only then would they tell me more. (By setting out that prerequisite they kick-started a lifelong passion for conducting my own research over the years since that time.