Through interviews with various individuals including former IRS agents, Russo sets forth the tax protester argument that, "there is no law requiring an income tax", and that the personal income tax is illegally enforced to support the activities of the Federal Reserve System. The film refers to both article 1 section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which grants Congress the right to impose taxes, and the Sixteenth Amendment, which removes any apportionment requirement. The film disputes the legitimacy of the Amendment and contends, through a series of interviews, that there is no law imposing the income tax.
One of the listed stars of the film, Irwin Schiff, was sentenced on February 24, 2006 to 13 years and 7 months in prison for tax evasion and ordered to pay over $4.2 million in restitution. In pre-sentencing documents filed with the court, Schiff's lawyers had argued that he had a mental disorder related to his beliefs about taxation. Initially, the film portrays Mr. Schiff as a tax "expert," though his qualifications and those of many other "experts" in the film are not mentioned. It is not until later that the film reveals Mr. Schiff has gone to jail.
Mr. Schiff appears in the film for another reason as well. The filmmaker lampoons Judge Kent Dawson's reaction to Schiff's defense. The film alleges that the judge "denied Irwin the ability to prove to a jury that there was no law requiring Americans to file an income tax return. He denied Irwin the right to attempt to prove to a jury there was no law . . . by stating, 'I will not allow the law in my courtroom.'" At 0:48:28 of the film, Mr. Russo introduces the judge and his statement.
Under the U.S. legal system, the general rule (with exceptions) is that neither side in a civil or criminal case is allowed to try to prove to the jury what the law is. For example, in a murder case the defendant is not generally allowed to persuade the jury that there is no law against murder, or to try to interpret the law for the jury. Likewise, the prosecution is not allowed to try to persuade the jury about what the law is, or how it should be interpreted. Disagreements about what the law is are argued by both sides before the judge, who then makes a ruling. Prior to jury deliberations, the judge, and only the judge, instructs the jury on the law.