David Champion claims to be an "independent businessman" and "paralegal," as well as a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger.
Champion's main arguments are that the federal income tax is limited by the Constitution to income earned through an "excise taxable activity," and that it is possible to become a "non-taxpayer" who is not subject to the income tax. He has also written that the 16th Amendment was not properly ratified, that "wages" is limited to government employees, persons working in federal possessions or territories, persons who have agreed to the income tax by executing a Form-4, and the earnings of nonresident aliens, and that the IRS cannot assess any tax against a person unless the person has filed an income tax return or a payor has filed an information return (such as a Form W-2 or a Form 1099) reporting income.
Books, Web Sites, Videos, and Organizations
Champion holds himself out as a "consultant" on tax law, and maintains a number of inter-related web sites to promote his ideas and services, including www.nontaxpayer.org, www.originalintent.org, www.davechampionshow.com, and www.americanradioshow.us. See also, www.davechampion.net.
In 2010, Champion published a book describing his theories entitled Income Tax: Shattering the Myths, which he is promoting through a new website, www.taxrevolt.us (or [http://www.incometaxtruth.com]).
Champion claims that he began investigating federal and state tax laws in 1993 after being "accosted" by the Internal Revenue Service. According to the public record, he filed a petition with the Tax Court pro se contesting notices of deficiencies for the years 1983 through 1990, but the petition was dismissed because it was not timely filed. David A. Champion v. Commissioner, Docket# 004777-96 (T.C. 8/20/1996). Apparently, the taxes were assessed, and the IRS began collection actions, because the IRS later requested, and received, two court orders to enter Champion's premises in order to effect levies for unpaid taxes. United States v. Champion, No. 2:97-cv-05842-DDP-Mc (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal. 8/7/1997), and No. 2:97-cv-06243-DWW-CT (8/20/1997). Champion then filed a petition in federal court seeking to enjoin the IRS and the return of the property seized, but the petition was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. David A. Champion v. United States, No. 2:97-cv-04478-DDP-RC (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal. 1/15/1998), appeal dismissed for failure to prosecute, No. 97-56332 (9th Cir. 12/15/1997). (The appellate docket refers to "Champion Estate Trust and Transportation Institute, a Trust," as an appellant, so it is possible that Champion had fallen for some kind of "pure trust" scam.) The lawyer who represented Champion in the District Court and on appeal, Elliott L. Aheroni, was disbarred in 2002 for embezzling client funds.
More recently, the government has been investigating whether Champion has been promoting an abusive tax scheme, as well as to investigate his own personal tax liabilities, and issued an administrative summons to Champion to appear to give testimony and produce records. Champion failed to appear and the government then filed a petition to enforce the summons. Champion filed a motion to dismiss the petition, claiming that there was a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, a lack of personal jurisdiction, insufficient process, insufficient service of process, and a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The court denied the motion and ordered Champion to appear before the IRS to give testimony and to produce the records requested by the IRS. United States v. David Champion, No. 2:08-cv-01629-PA-JWJ (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal. 4/30/2008). When Champion failed to appear within the time allowed, the government moved to have him held in civil contempt, and Champion was found to be guilty of civil contempt after a hearing on 09/08/2008. However, he was able to purge himself of civil contempt by producing the requested documents, and allowing his computer to be searched for additional documents. Docket #38 (9/8/2008). (Champion broadcast his version of his brief incarceration during the "Dave Champion Show" of 9/13/2008.) Champion filed an appeal of the 4/30/2008 enforcement order with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 08-55883, but he failed to provide the required transcript or file a brief and on 3/27/2009 the appeal was dismissed for failure to prosecute.
On February 8, 2011, the United States filed a civil complaint against Champion, alleging that he is promoting a tax fraud scheme designed to assist his customers evade paying federal taxes by setting up sham "pure trusts" to which they transfer their businesses and personal assets, and requesting an injunction against him. United States v. David A. Champion, case no. 2:11-cv-01175-DDP -SS (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal. 2/8/2011). According to the complain, Champion has not filed a federal income tax return since 1995, and his total federal tax liablities for 1985-1990 and 1996-1997 exceed $800,000. Champion attempted to file a counter-claim against a judge and IRS agent, but the counter-claim was dismissed. Granting the government's motion for summary judgment, the court entered a permanent injunction on January 24, 2012, that prohibits Champion from (a) assisting individuals in becoming
“nontaxpayers,” (b) assisting individuals in evading their income tax obligations through their “nontaxpayer” status, (c) instructing individuals that they can become, or are, “nontaxpayers,” (d) assisting individuals in avoiding reporting their Social Security Numbers, Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or any other identification information that might be disclosed to the IRS by a third party, (e) creating or forming trusts of any kind for individuals, and/or (f) assisting individuals in creating or forming trusts of any kind. Champion must post a copy of the injunction on his web sites, and must provide the government with a list of the names and addresses of purchasers of his book and the names and addresses of customers who paid him for any tax-related services. No. 2:11-cv-01175-DDP -SS (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal. 1/24/2012).
Champion has apparently worked with the "We the People Foundation" run by Robert Schulz.
At his civil contempt hearing on 9/8/2008, Champion was represented by lawyer Peter Gibbons.