M13Discussion Activity–Tax Punishments Discussion Instructions For this discussion, please answer the following question.It is a crime in the United States to not pay taxes—a misdemeanor if you do not file a tax returnand a felony if you purposely evade a tax, donot pay your taxes, or file a fraudulent tax return. A misdemeanoris generally punishable by imprisonment for a period of less than one year, and a felonyis punishable by imprisonment for a period of more than a year in a federal or state prison. Thus, not paying taxes (or trying to evade tax) or filing a false tax return can lead to a punishmentof imprisonment for more than a year.
If we think back to the idea of proportionality in punishment as argued by Cesare Beccaria, do you think a prison sentence is a proportionalpunishment for the crime of tax fraud? Consider the followingexamples when posting to this discussion.
1.A bartender receives $100 a night in tips each night he works. If he works 100nights a year, his tip income is $10,000. Becausetips are almost always cash, there is no recordof this $10,000 income for the bartender. If he does not include this $10,000 in cash on his tax return, he is filing a false return…he is trying to avoid paying taxes on that money (he is committing a felony). Should this bartender be sent to prison for a more than a year for not reporting his tips?
2.In 2008, actor Wesley Snipes was convicted on three misdemeanorcounts of failing to file taxes from 1999 to 2001. He appealed the conviction, but in July 2010 the conviction was upheld and he is now to serve histhree year sentence (the maximum allowed) as well as pay $17 million in penalties and back taxes. Is this a proportional punishment for his crime?
In addition, to receive full credit for the discussion, you will also have to respond to at least one classmate’s post. Examples of possible responses: oAsk classmate for clarification on the post oChallenging a peer’s comment (support your reason) oDo you agree or disagree with their opinion? Why agree/disagree?