IRS News Release  
October 01, 1994

Reparation Tax Claims Denied

Thousands of African-Americans have been misled to file tax claims with the Internal Revenue Service for reparations payable to descendants of slaves. These tax claims also known as "Black Tax" are not legitimate claims and will be denied.

The basis of the claims date back to the post-Civil War period when Congress voted to provide former slaves 40 acres and a mule as a form of redress for their years in slavery. The bill was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. Legislation has been proposed in Congress to study the reparations issue. However, there is no law currently, that allows for any reparation payable to African-Americans for slavery. Therefore, the IRS must deny all such claims.

The IRS has received approximately 20,000 tax claims, the majority coming in over the past month. Taxpayers are making claims of $43,209, an amount estimated by a New York economic research group to be the current value of 40 acres and a mule. These tax returns are coming in with a magazine article from the April 1993 issue of Essence Magazine. The article was written by L.G. Sherrod and makes reference to claiming reparations for slavery on Form 1040.

These tax claims have been filed on original Form 1040 tax returns and amended Form 1040X tax returns. Taxpayers making claims for reparations for slavery will receive a denial letter from IRS. In addition, taxpayers who file a subsequent tax claim for reparations after they receive a denial notice, will be subject to a $500 penalty under section 6702 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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