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False report misleads on U.S. taxes

June 25, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Americans pay a percentage of their taxes to the Queen of England through the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is an agency of the International Monetary Fund, which is an agency of the United Nations. No law has ever passed legalizing the charging of income tax.

AP ASSESSMENT: False. The IRS is an agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It has no connection to the International Monetary Fund, nor the United Nations. Federal income tax was established through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

THE FACTS: A false claim circulating on Instagram makes several erroneous claims about the U.S. tax system.

“Americans pay a percentage of their taxes to the Queen of England via the IRS.” the post states. “The IRS is not an agency of the federal government. It is an agency of the International Monetary Fund, which is an agency of the United Nations. No law has ever been passed legalizing the charging of income tax.”

In reality, Americans pay the full amount of their taxes, through the IRS, to the Treasury Department; none of that collected revenue goes to any foreign entity.

“The IRS is an agency of the Treasury Department and we work on behalf of United States taxpayers – no one else,” Terry Lemons, communications and liaison chief at the IRS, told The Associated Press in an email.

The IRS has no connection to the International Monetary Fund, an organization with 190 member countries that makes loans to countries to help them stabilize their finances. The IMF is an institution under the United Nations umbrella.

In 1913, the 16th amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes. According to the IRS, “Congress used the power granted by the Constitution and Sixteenth Amendment, and made laws requiring all individuals to pay tax.”

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AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon contributed to this report from Washington.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536