Tax Obstruction Crimes: Is Making the Irs's Job Harder Enough (Online Appendix)

20 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2017

See all articles by John A. Townsend

John A. Townsend

University of Houston Law Center; Independent

Date Written: July 1, 2009


This is the online appendix to Townsend, John A., Tax Obstruction Crimes: Is Making the IRS's Job Harder Enough (July 1, 2009). Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, Vol. 9, No. 255, 2009. Available at SSRN:

The article for this appendix questions the potential mischief that can arise from the notion that conduct which makes the IRS's job harder is an obstruction type crime under the defraud / Klein conspiracy in 18 U.S.C. § 371 or, its tax code counterpart for the single actor, 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) (the Omnibus Clause). The Appendix goes through some common audit profile lowering examples which might be characterized as making the IRS's job harder. Examples considered are:

Example 1: Choosing the Standard Deduction When Itemized Deductions Are Larger Example 2: Claiming Fewer Deductions than Otherwise Available Example 3: Variation: Claiming Fewer Charitable Deductions Example 4: Making the Amount of Charitable Deductions Based on Audit Factors Example 5: Conforming Deductions to IRS Audit Models. Example 6: Follow the Forms Strategy Example 7: Planning Return Positions Based on the Taxpayer Civil Penalty Rules Example 8: Same Example with Preparer Penalty Rules in Play Example 9: Failure to Disclose Where Even a Civil Penalty Would Not Apply Example 10: Drafting Return Disclosure to Lower the Audit Profile Example 11: Filing a Paper Return to Exploit IRS Inefficiencies Example 12: Incorporating Example 13: Filing a Return on Extension Example 14: Filing a Return That Incorrectly States the Economic Position of the Taxpayer Example 15: Resisting in an Audit Example 16: Noncompliance with Summons Example 17: Noncompliance with Summons (Part 2) Example 18: Variation on Resisting an Audit Example 19: Structuring Transactions for less Visibility on Audit Example 20: Action to Delay via U.S. Bank Example 21: Action to Delay via Foreign Bank Example 22: Taking a Deduction as Schedule C Rather than Schedule A Example 23: Taking an Nol Carryover to a Later Year Example 24: Declining to Amend a Tax Return Example 25: Manipulating the System Example 26: Staging a Voluntary Disclosure

Keywords: defraud conspiracy, Klein conspiracy, tax obstruction

JEL Classification: H26

Suggested Citation

Townsend, John A. and Townsend, John A., Tax Obstruction Crimes: Is Making the Irs's Job Harder Enough (Online Appendix) (July 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

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