John B. Kotmair Jr.


[Briefly describe educational/vocational/other history]

Theories Advocated/Promoted

[Briefly describe the claims of the guru/fish, preferably with links to the Tax Protester FAQ.]

Books, Web Sites, Videos, and Organizations

Save-a-Patriot Fellowship (, which is the main vehicle by which John B. Kotmair has marketed his materials. (Both Kotmair and Save-a-Patriot have been enjoined from continuing to promote his tax schemes, so this web site should change if Kotmair complies with the injunction.)

Piercing the Illusion

Court Actions

Kotmair filed income tax "returns" for 1974, 1975, and 1976 which contained only his name, address, Social Security number, and employment status, and to which he attached printed materials making various assertions, such as that the paper money of the United states was not legal currency, that the information called for in the return forms was a violation of his rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, that he was entitled to a trial by jury, that the federal government was improperly spending the taxpayers' money, etc. He was eventually indicted and convicted of willfully failing to file tax returns for the years 1975 and 1976. United States v. John B. Kotmair Jr., No. 1:1980cr00462 (U.S.D.C. Md.). Kotmair (inmate # 18066-037) was released from federal prison on January 24, 1984.

The IRS later assessed deficiencies for the years 1975 and 1976 and the Tax Court affirmed the deficiencies, along with penalties for "intentional disregard of rules and regulations," the court finding that Kotmair was "collaterally estopped" from denying that his failure to pay and file tax returns was anything other than willful due to his criminal conviction. Kotmair v. Commissioner, 86 T.C. 1253, 1261 (1986) (penalties for fraud not imposed).

After the IRS levied upon various property at the office of Save-A-Patriot Fellowship (SAP) to satisfy taxes owed by Kotmair, SAP (through Kotmair) sued and was able to recover $634 back as property of SAP and not Kotmair. Save-A-Patriot Fellowship v. United States, 962 F.Supp. 695 (D. Md. 1996).

Kotmair and Save-a-Patriot have been permanently enjoined from promoting their anti-tax schemes and ordered to turn over lists of customers to the government. United States v. John B. Kotmair, Jr. et al., No. 1:05-cv-01297-WMN (D. Md. Nov. 29, 2006; Feb. 7, 2007)., aff'd 234 Fed. Appx. 65, 2007 TNT 146-49, No. 07-1156 (4th Cir. 7/26/2007), cert. den. No. 07-1145 (4/14/2008).


On the appeal to the 4th Circuit, Save-a-Patriot Fellowship was represented by George B. Harp, who also represented Tommy Cryer.

Kotmair has attempted to represent members of the "Save-a-Patriot Fellowship" before the Internal Revenue Service, and his efforts have been 100% ineffective. For example, in Wesley Sherwood v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2005-268, No. 21913-04L (11/21/2005), Kotmair obtained a power of attorney to represent Mr. Sherwood and sent letters and documents to the IRS that the Tax Court described as "tax protester rhetoric" and "frivolous arguments. The IRS assessed penalties for frivolous returns and tax deficiencies for the years at issue, and filed a notice of tax lien, all of which was upheld by the Tax Court. Kotmair also wrote letters to the IRS on behalf of the taxpayer in Emil P. Tolotti Jr. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-86, 2002 TNT 63-9, No. 3011-01L (4/1/2002), and Barry L. Moore v. Commissioner T.C. Memo. 2001-305, 2001 TNT 229-9, No. 11675-00L (11/27/2001), and was similarly unsuccessful in each case.

Kotmair's son has also been convicted of willful failure to file tax returns. United States v. Edward L. Kotmair, 143 F. Supp.2d 532 (U.S.D.C. E.D.N.C.), aff'd 87 AFTR2d Par. 2001-817, 2001 TNT 78-76, No. 00-4139 (4th Cir. 4/19/2001). Edward Kotmair served time in federal prison (prisoner # 33337-037) and was released from prison on December 27, 2000.

Thurston Bell also worked for Save-a-Patriot in the 1980s.

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