KGW8. Michael Bowman faced misdemeanor charges for willful failure to file a return. He was also initially charged with felony tax evasion.
The Oregon man has not filed his taxes since 1999, but he was not charged with a crime until 2017. His case went to federal court and ended Friday with a mistrial.
Michael Bowman faced misdemeanor charges for willful failure to file a return. He was also initially charged with felony tax evasion, but his public defender, Matt Schindler, got that charge thrown out for lack of evidence.
Bowman said he objects to paying taxes for religious reasons. He said he does not want his money to go toward funding abortions.
“It’s unfair to Christians that actually care about their fellow human beings,” Bowman said. “It’s unfair when it impacts their conscience. We don’t force people to do what we think and the very definition of freedom is, we all should be free to do what we want to do, as long as it’s not attacking other people, and they’re definitely attacking us.”
Schindler, Bowman’s attorney, said the Internal Revenue Service has not collected a dime of the money Bowman owes, but said the government spent half a million dollars taking him to court.
“The greatest collection agency ever created in the history of human civilization managed to not collect a single penny from Michael Bowman during 19 years, and that entire time, he banked in the same account, he worked under the same business name, he never used an LLC, he never did a single thing to hide from the government or hide his money,” Schindler said.
Bowman said he is responsible for his conscience and does not want to fund abortions.