That ignorance of the law is no excuse is a maxim that most school children can recite. Wide awareness of the maxim (without a lawyer's comprehension of its subtleties) encourages citizens to make an effort to know laws which might regulate their conduct. Perversely, the crimes of the Internal Revenue Code permit ignorance of their strictures as a defense. If voluntary compliance is the taxation system's goal, the ultimate sanctions should be structured to promote investigation of the law and reliance on competent advisors.
Mark D. Yochum,
Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse Except for Tax Crimes,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol27/iss2/3