House District 7 Republican candidate Robert Welzel of Kalispell told the Daily Inter Lake this week that several federal tax liens filed against him by the Internal Revenue Service are related to a lawsuit he filed against the IRS more than a decade ago.
Welzel, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell, in the June 5 primary election, and his wife Lisa sued the IRS in 2006, challenging the legitimacy of the federal agency and alleging the IRS “recklessly, intentionally or by reason of negligence, disregarded and continue to disregard provisions of Title 26 of the U.S. Code [the Internal Revenue Code], and the regulations promulgated thereunder.”
“We were making a legal argument that income tax is appropriate only for those with federal privilege,” Welzel said, explaining that only federal lawmakers, employees, military and others tied in some way to the federal government should pay federal income taxes.
“In order to sue you have to have standing; you have to start a fight,” Welzel said. “What we did, you have to be willing to put your money where your mouth is, if you don’t believe [in paying federal income tax] you have to not file.
“I sued the IRS on a case that had to do with the legitimacy of the administration of income tax,” he continued. “This was purely an administrative thing.”
Since Welzel did not pay his federal income taxes, the IRS calculated his taxes based on past income and filed liens against him. During that process he said the IRS seized his assets and garnished his wages.
A background check of Welzel’s records show eight federal tax liens filed over a number of years in courts where he resided through the years.
Two liens were filed in 2017 for amounts of $11,864 and $2,562, and are tied to his Kalispell address.
A lien for $116,651 was filed in 2010 when his address was Lynnwood, Washington. Four liens filed in 2007 and 2008 are tied to his Anchorage address, for amounts of $219,368, $10,000, $4,513 and $500. Another lien filed in 2006 for $217,393 is tied to a Collierville, Tennessee, address.
He never satisfied any of the liens, and the 10-year statute of limitations for IRS liens has passed for most of the liens against Welzel.
“The only one [lien] that remains is one civil penalty, a $10,000 special fine,” he said. “I did an offer of compromise with the IRS. It is a form of fight that is almost futile. I’m not going to pay it.”
Welzel said his lawsuit against the IRS dragged on for a few years. After the government filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, he said he eventually dropped the case.
“We went to court to argue the thing. They had unlimited resources. They file endless motions,” he said. “In the end we dropped the case.”
But Welzel still insists the IRS is “an unbelievably destructive system.
“When citizens can’t properly discuss with an organization of government, that organization isn’t working for the people,” he commented.
When Welzel completed his military service with the U.S. Marine Corps a couple of decades ago, he said he believed it was his responsibility to understand tax law.
“I thought one person can make the difference, but they just wear you out,” he said about his legal battle with the IRS. “They don’t want to deal with answers. As I approach 60, I can’t change something I did 15 to 20 years ago. You get into the court system and you realize you’re dealing with something beyond the scope of most citizens.
“The point is, the IRS is allowed to do things that no one else is allowed to do,” he added.
Features Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze
Candidate faced several federal tax liens, sued IRS
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