Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
A company, incorporated in Alaska, falsely stated that I made x dollars of "wages" (statutorily defined in IRC Section 3104) I in fact, made $0 in "wages" (as defined in the relevant law), I informed the company, and the company has refused to cease its misrepresentation to the IRS. Therefore, the company has knowingly published a false statement about me--to my damage both monetarily (they have given away a large quantity of my money to a third party) and to my reputation. Depending upon the laws available in Alaska, "conversion" or "civil theft" could be involved as well. The company's defense, which is an absolute defense in libel, is "truth" -- but they have to prove their defense, which means not that they have to prove that they paid me x dollars of money (they, in fact, did pay me x dollars of money), but that they paid me x dollars of "wages as defined...." (the reporting requirement for a W-2). I am not contesting that they wrongly asserted a payment of money -- I am contesting the characterization that funds paid to me were reportable "wages," subject to withholding and taxation (and painting me in the false light of a "taxpayer" or, worse, a "tax defier", both are terms statutorily defined). Citations below are just FYI:
The evidence that I can submit to prove my own case (that the company's statement is false and damaged me) is my IRS Form 4852, and a sworn affidavit concerning all the elements that go into it: I am not an "employee", they are not my "employer", etc., demand letters I have sent to the payer, and my paper trail showing that the IRS refused to give me my money (overpayments) in reliance on the company's false representations. The paralegal, who reviewed my tax returns prior to my filing them (to ensure that nothing on my return fit the Treasury Secretary's published list of "frivolous" items) who recommended that I seek out a libel attorney (not a tax attorney, because she has plenty with whom she works), mentioned the following when I told her that I expected a libel/defamation attorney to get hung up thinking 'tax attorney' when he hears me mention the IRS, instead of listening carefully and dealing with the libel part of the issue:
Okay, well given that this site can't recommend attorneys, the three web sources you provided for finding an attorney should be a good start. But , suppose I want to start this case pro se, what is the first step? Does it sound like a good basis for a case? The damages are that I am having to do without about $70,000 that the IRS is refusing/delaying to give to me because they are relying on false testimony. The remedy would be for the company to submit corrected W2s reporting my "wages" as they truly are, zero. The 2nd best remedy would be for the company to give me my $70k that they gave away to the IRS under an erroneous understanding. Do I simply write a complaint to the court with an order for the judge and wait for a response from the respondent and that initiates the process of litigation?
Thank you so much for using JustAnswer.com. I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. PLEASE use REPLY to EXPERT if you would like more information or if you feel something was not included in your answer.
Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.
Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.
PLEASE NOTE WELL WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT AND BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.
There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be taking a break.
You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”
thank you for the excellent information. One last part: the company didn't think the information was false when they reported it, and still today, they refuse to accept that their information is false (primarily, because they have not invested the effort to see the difference between "money they paid me" and "wages as defined in Sections 3104 and 3121 of the IRC", requirements for filing a W2). They almost certainly have libeled in ignorance; however, they have refused my requests for correction, assuming that they acted correctly. Does their ignorance of their error in publishing a damaging falsehood against me in any way diminish my case? And furthermore, if I were to end up losing, am I at risk to owe legal fees to a bunch of high-priced corporate attorneys who will be defending the 30,000+ worker corporation against which I will be filing the complaint? Thank you very much.
If I can establish willfull ignorance on the payer's part by the paper trail of demand letters I have given them, should I be covered? Nolo only lists two essential elements in libel cases under defamation: (1) defendant published defamatory statement and (2) other people were exposed to it. It would seem to me that the burden of proving their statements were true would rest on the defendent, who may have 'recklessly' published a defamatory statement and exposed it to others? Also, the payer was never my "employer", per the relevant statutory definitions. You've given me a great start. I am ready to rate you excellent. I look foward to coming back to this site for future questions. Have a great afternoon!
Hi Paul M.,You might be interested to know that if the IRS tries to garnish your earnings, they can only do it if you actually work for the federal government and receive 'wages' or 'income' as pay for your work. They very misleadingly leave this statutory requirement out of the Form 688-W and partial quotation from relevant law in the notification that they send to private-sector companies in their theft attempts.For more information, see what a couple of US Congressmen have had to say about this at the bottom of this page: http://www.losthorizons.com/comment/archives/ASorryButInstructiveLittleSubterfuge.htm Brian
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).