805 F.2d 902
                    John M. CASPER, Petitioner-Appellant,
                                      v.
            COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent-Appellee.
                                 No. 85-1857.
                       United States Court of Appeals,
                                Tenth Circuit.
                                Nov. 18, 1986.

	John M. Casper, pro se.
	Roger M. Olsen, Asst. Atty. Gen., Michael L. Paup and Gayle
P. Miller, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for respondent-appellee.

	Before BARRETT and BALDOCK, Circuit Judges, and CONWAY [FN*],
District Judge.

	FN* The Honorable John E. Conway, United States District Judge,
District of New Mexico, sitting by designation.

	BALDOCK, Circuit Judge.
	In accordance with 10th Cir.R. 9(e) and Fed.R.App.P. 34(a), this
appeal came on for consideration on the briefs and record on appeal.
	This is an appeal from an order of the United States Tax Court
granting the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment, affirming the
Commissioner's determination of deficiencies and additions to tax, and
awarding damages to the Commissioner for appellant's maintenance of a
frivolous action. We affirm the judgment of the Tax Court and impose
additional sanctions of $1,500 for appellant's frivolous appeal.
	By notice of deficiency dated October 24, 1983, the Commissioner
notified appellant that he owed taxes for the years 1980 and 1981, as well
as additions to tax for those same years due to his failure to file a
return, I.R.C. s 6651(a), his negligence in failing to pay any tax,
I.R.C. s 6653(a), and his underpayment of estimated tax payments, I.R.C. s
6654.  On January 26, 1984, appellant filed his petition in Tax Court,
alleging that the Commissioner erroneously determined the deficiencies and
additions to tax, and that the Commissioner failed to follow Internal
Revenue Code procedures.
	Following the filing of his answer, the Commissioner filed a
request for admissions.  Appellant responded by admitting that he had
received the amounts of money from employers as alleged by the
Commissioner, but that such amounts did not constitute wages or taxable
income.  The Commissioner then moved for summary judgment affirming the
determined deficiencies and additions to tax, as well as for damages
pursuant to I.R.C. s 6673.  Appellant then filed his own motion for
summary judgment, contending that the amounts he received were for an
equal exchange of property (his labor) and therefore did not constitute
taxable wages.  A hearing was held on both motions on November 26, 1984,
at which the parties stated that they had nothing to add to their
pleadings as filed.  The Tax Court issued its memorandum opinion April 1,
1985, in which it denied Appellant's motion for summary judgment, granted
the Commissioner's motion for summary judgment, and awarded damages to the
Commissioner of $5,000.  Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal to this
court.  I.R.C. ss 7482 & 7483.
	The Tax Court resolved the motions for summary judgment in
accordance with Tax Court Rule 121.  The standard set forth in Rule 121 is
substantially identical to the summary judgment standard of
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56;  there must be no genuine issue as to a material fact,
and a decision may be rendered as a matter of law.  The Supreme Court has
recently determined in the context of Rule 56 that summary judgment may be
granted where the evidence does not present sufficient disagreement to
require submission to a jury.  Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., ---
U.S. ----, ----, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2509-10, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). If there
can be but one reasonable conclusion as to the material facts, summary
judgment is appropriate.  To preclude summary judgment on a properly
supported motion, there must be a genuine dispute as to a fact which is
material.  Id. at ----, 106 S.Ct. at 2509-10.  A fact is material if it is
relevant under the applicable substantive law.  Id.  Summary judgment
concerns the sufficiency of the evidence, not its weight.  The inquiry is
"whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission" to the trier of fact "or whether it is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law." Id. at ----, 106 S.Ct. at 2512.
In reviewing the Tax Court's resolution of the summary judgment motions,
we apply the above standard.  The Tax Court's decision to grant summary
judgment is a legal determination, and such conclusions of law are
reviewed de novo by this court.  Magneson v. Commissioner, 753 F.2d 1490,
1493 (9th Cir.1985);  Walter v. Commissioner, 753 F.2d 35, 38 (6th
Cir.1985);  Manocchio v. Commissioner, 710 F.2d 1400, 1402 (9th Cir.1983);
see also Wagner v. Commissioner, 518 F.2d 655, 656 (10th Cir.1975)
(holding decisions of the Tax Court reviewable in the same manner as
decisions of a United States District Court sitting without a jury).
	Appellant's contention that the amounts he received from his
employers constituted an equal, nontaxable exchange of property rather
than taxable income is clearly without merit.  This court specifically
rejected this argument in United States v. Lawson, 670 F.2d 923, 925 (10th
Cir.1982), as did the Tax Court in Rowlee v. Commissioner, 80 T.C. 1111,
1119-22 (1983). Furthermore, I.R.C. s 61(a)(1) clearly applies to the
amounts received by appellant:  "gross income means all income from
whatever source derived, including ... (1) Compensation for services."
Appellant's receipt of money from his employers falls within I.R.C. s
61(a)(1) as compensation, rather than under I.R.C. s 61(a)(3) as an
exchange of property.  Value received in exchange for services constitutes
taxable income pursuant to I.R.C. s 61(a)(1).  See e.g. Connor
v. Commissioner, 770 F.2d 17, 20 (2nd Cir.1985);  Lovell v. United States,
755 F.2d 517, 519 (7th Cir.1984);  Perkins v. Commissioner, 746 F.2d 1187,
1188 (6th Cir.1984);  Simanonok v. Commissioner, 731 F.2d 743, 744 (11th
Cir.1984);  Funk v. Commissioner, 687 F.2d 264, 265 (8th Cir.1982);
Lonsdale v. Commissioner, 661 F.2d 71, 72 (5th Cir.1981); United States
v. Romero, 640 F.2d 1014, 1016 (9th Cir.1981);  Wilson v. United States,
412 F.2d 694, 695 (1st Cir.1969);  Commissioner v. Mendel, 351 F.2d 580,
582 (4th Cir.1965);  United States v. Woodall, 255 F.2d 370, 372 (10th
Cir.), cert. denied, 358 U.S. 824, 79 S.Ct. 39, 3 L.Ed.2d 64 (1958).  The
taxation of such value received is constitutional.  See e.g. Stelly
v. Commissioner, 761 F.2d 1113, 1115 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, ---
U.S. ----, 106 S.Ct. 149, 88 L.Ed.2d 123 (1985) (citing numerous cases
holding taxation on income constitutional).  The Tax Court's determination
that the amount received by appellant from his employers constituted
taxable income was correct.
	Although he objected to the additions to tax as set forth in the
notice of deficiency, appellant presented no evidence and set forth no
specific argument as to why the additions to tax were improper.  The Tax
Court thus granted summary judgment in favor of the Commissioner on that
issue.  Because we agree that the amounts received by appellant constitute
taxable income, and in light of appellant's failure to offer any evidence
or argument that would tend to rebut or excuse his noncompliance with the
cited sections, we affirm the Tax Court's decision upholding the
Commissioner's determination of the additions to tax.
	The Tax Court also awarded damages to the Commissioner in the
amount of $5,000 pursuant to I.R.C. s 6673.  This section allows an award
of damages "[w]henever it appears to the Tax Court that proceedings before
it have been instituted or maintained by the taxpayer primarily for delay
or that the taxpayer's position in such proceedings is frivolous or
groundless."  Appellant has not advanced the weary tax protester arguments
that income taxes are unconstitutional or that receipt of currency cannot
be taxable because Federal Reserve notes are not money.  He has been
content with a closely-related frivolous argument:  that value received
for labor is an exchange of property which is not taxable.  The fact that
appellant's wages constitute taxable income is as true as, well ..., as
true as taxes. [FN1]  See United States v. Lawson, 670 F.2d at 925;
Rowlee v. Commissioner, 80 T.C. at 1119-22.

	FN1. "It was as true," said Mr. Barkis, "as turnips is. It was as
true," said Mr. Barkis, nodding his nightcap, which was his only means of
emphasis, "as taxes is.  And nothing's truer than them." C. Dickens, David
Copperfield, ch. 21 at 296 (Macmillan ed. 1962).

	Appellant's position is not warranted by existing law or a good
faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing
law.  A review of the record discloses no effort on the part of appellant
to distinguish existing case law, to bring about a reasoned extension or
change in the law, or to point out actual errors in the Commissioner's
determination of deficiency.  Rather, our review simply uncovers
appellant's total rejection of well- established precedent and a refusal
to accept "the other certainty." [FN2]  We affirm the Tax Court's award of
damages for filing and maintaining a factually groundless and legally
frivolous action. [FN3]  See Coleman v. Commissioner, 791 F.2d 68, 71 (7th
Cir.1986).  Such a sanction is easily avoided by advancing claims or
defenses which have a factual basis and are warranted by existing law or a
good faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of
existing law.  See Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 (signature on civil pleadings in United
States District Courts constitutes certification as to reasonable factual
and legal support for theories pursued);  see also Advisory Committee Note
to Rule 11, 97 F.R.D. 198-201 (1983).  Additionally, such claims should
not be interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause
unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.  Id.

	FN2. "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."
B. Franklin, Letter to M. Leroy (quoted in H.L. Mencken, A Dictionary of
New Quotations, 1178 (1966)).

	FN3. Although appellant appears pro-se, he is still required to
have an awareness of and comply with relevant procedural and substantive
rules of law.  Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 835 n. 46, 95
S.Ct. 2525, 2541 n. 46, 45 L.Ed.2d 562 (1975);  Van Sickle v. Holloway,
791 F.2d 1431, 1437 (10th Cir.1986).

	Finally, the Commissioner requests that we impose sanctions
against appellant for filing a frivolous appeal.  This court has the
inherent power to impose sanctions to regulate the docket, promote
judicial efficiency and to deter frivolous filings.  Van Sickle
v. Holloway, 791 F.2d at 1437;  Betz v. United States, 753 F.2d 834, 835
(10th Cir.1985).  The court also has statutory power to impose sanctions
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. s 1912 and Fed.R.App.P. 38, both of which authorize
an award of damages and single or double costs, as well as I.R.C. s
7482(c)(4), which authorizes an award of damages.  We have imposed
sanctions for frivolous appeals from Tax Court decisions.  See
e.g. Stafford v. Commissioner, 805 F.2d 895, 896 (10th Cir.1986).  Merely
raising the argument that value received for labor does not constitute
taxable income, but rather constitutes a nontaxable exchange of property,
justifies the imposition of sanctions.  Connor v. Commissioner, 770 F.2d
at 20.
	In the past we have often awarded damages of $500 and double
costs, rather than remanding to the Tax Court for a determination as to
actual attorney fees.  See Stafford v. Commissioner, 805 F.2d 893, 894
(10th Cir.1986); Stafford v. Commissioner, 805 F.2d 895, 896 (10th
Cir.1986);  Clark v. Commissioner, 744 F.2d 1447, 1448 (10th Cir.1984);
Lamb v. Commissioner, 733 F.2d 86, 88 (10th Cir.1984), modified, Lamb
v. Commissioner, 744 F.2d 1448, 1448-49 (10th Cir.1984);  Snead
v. Commissioner, 733 F.2d 719, 720 (10th Cir.1984), modified, Lamb
v. Commissioner, 744 F.2d 1448, 1448-49 (10th Cir.1984);  Moulton
v. Commissioner, 733 F.2d 734, 734-35 (10th Cir.1984), modified, Lamb
v. Commissioner, 744 F.2d 1448, 1448-49 (10th Cir.1984).  On appeal, the
Commissioner informs us that the average amount of direct costs associated
with defending legally frivolous appeals exceeds $1,400.  We now choose to
adopt a rule awarding a flat fee of $1,500 as a sanction for a frivolous
appeal from a Tax Court decision.  See Coleman v. Commissioner, 791 F.2d
at 73.  This increased, uniform award does not cover the indirect costs of
frivolous litigation such as court congestion caused by frivolous appeals
and the resultant delay to serious litigants.  The award will (1) provide
an effective sanction for the bringing of a frivolous appeal, (2) serve as
an effective deterrent to the bringing of future frivolous appeals, and
(3) recompense the government for at least the direct costs of the appeal.
Although there is some lack of precision in awarding a flat amount in a
frivolous appeal from Tax Court, that has been past practice in this court
and we believe it is justified to reduce the flow of paper and expenditure
of time incident to the awarding of sanctions.
	Again, the sanction is easily avoided by litigants advancing
claims on appeal which have a factual basis and are warranted by existing
law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal
of existing law. Additionally, such claims should not be interposed for
any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or
needless increase in the cost of litigation.  "An appeal that lacks merit
is not always--or often-- frivolous.  However, we are not obliged to
suffer in silence the filing of baseless, insupportable appeals presenting
no colorable claims of error and designed only to delay, obstruct, or
incapacitate the operations of the courts or any other governmental
authority."  Crain v. Commissioner, 737 F.2d 1417, 1418 (5th Cir.1984).
We hope that the increased sanction adopted in this case will sound a
"cautionary note to those who would persistently raise arguments against
the income tax which have been put to rest for years."  Id. (quoting
Parker v. Commissioner, 724 F.2d 469, 472 (5th Cir.1984).
	A sanction of $1,500 is hereby imposed against appellant for
bringing a frivolous appeal.
	AFFIRMED.