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LETTER: Tipped workers who don’t pay their taxes break the law

In response to David Lyons’ Aug. 6 letter on beefed up IRS enforcement and tip workers:

According to the IRS, all cash and non-cash tips are income and subject to federal income taxes. The penalties for hiding income can be severe. Tax fraud can not only result in severe financial penalties, but jail time as well. Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code states that any person who willfully attempts to evade any tax is guilty of a felony and can face up to five years of imprisonment.

Aside from the legal repercussions of tax fraud, there is a moral aspect to Mr. Lyons implication that people who receive tip income should not have to pay their fair share of the cost of government. Without taxes, we would have no government. Without government, we would have no social, civil or political institutions. Without these institutions we would no security for our lives, our families and our property. I would like to know why those of us who pay taxes on every penny we earn should also have to pay the fair share of tipped workers’ taxes to live in a civilized society.

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