No, this will not be a defense any more than maintaining that, say, murder is not illegal. Although certain factions have maintained that the tax laws are invalid, the Supreme Court of the United States has proclaimed the Federal Governments right to tax under the Taxing and Spending Clause of the Constitution found in Article I, Section 8. Clause 1, reads: “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
In a recent case, a court entertained the taxpayer’s argument for the unconstitutionality of a certain tax law. The court basically held that the taxpayer had an erroneous belief and still found him liable for his tax. After the taxpayer attended various seminars and devoted himself to legal basis for the taxing system, the court held against him: “We do not believe that Congress contemplated that such a taxpayer, without risking criminal prosecution, could ignore the duties imposed upon him by the Internal Revenue Code and refuse to utilize the mechanisms provided by Congress to present his claims of invalidity to the courts and to abide by their decisions.” Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 205-06 (1991).
The court went on to explain that if the taxpayer thought a tax law was invalid, his proper procedure is to first pay the tax, and then file for a refund which, if denied, he could take to the courts to ascertain the tax law’s validity and constitutionality. Id.