Tax Report

                     The Wall Street Journal

                   Wednesday, January 19, 1994

                        Vol. CXXX No. 13

     TWO WORDS lead to a courtroom battle between a tax protester
and the IRS.

     Do you  have a right to protest when filing your federal tax
return?   That was the question in a recent case pitting Lawrence
P. McCormick  of Brooklyn,  N.Y., against the IRS.  Mr. McCormick
filed his  1991 return on April 15, 1992.  Beneath his signature,
he wrote  "under protest."   The IRS refused to accept the return
and charged  him penalties  for a  frivolous filing  and  a  late

     But U.S.  District Court  Judge Jack B. Weinstein sided with
Mr.  McCormick.     "A   taxpayer  need   not  suffer  in  silent
acquiescence to  a perceived  injustice," the  judge wrote.   Mr.
McCormick didn't  change the meaning of anything on the return by
adding those  two words  of  protest.    Instead,  Mr.  McCormick
"properly exercised  his first  amendment right to protest" while
still complying  with his obligation to file a timely tax return,
the judge  said.   A protest  is  "an  expression  of  grievance,
seeking  redress  that  the  Internal  Revenue  Service  may  not
throttle or mute by threats of penalties."

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