My Tax Resistance Seems Not to Have Registered on My Credit Report

I got a letter the other day from my health insurance company, letting me know that their IT vendor, IBM, had lost track of a bunch of hard drives on which were a bunch of client records, possibly including mine. They extended me an offer to join something called an “identity protection network” on their dime, and encouraged me to go take a look at my credit report to see if anyone else was trying to get loans or credit cards or what have you by using my identity.

So far there’s nothing suspicious looking there, but in the course of looking at my credit report I noticed that there’s a section on it entitled “Public Records” that is meant to list things like “bankruptcies, liens or judgments… from federal, state or county court records.” That section is blank on my credit report, which seems to indicate that the IRS either has not filed a lien for my back taxes, the sort of lien they file doesn’t show up in public records like this, or the credit reporting agency hasn’t managed to find out about it (I’m not sure which).

In any case, so far as the credit reporting agency (and anyone who requests their report on me) is concerned, I don’t have any tax lien.


The compilation Friends’ Miscellany Volume Ⅺ profiled American Revolution-era war tax resister Hannah Lindley () as follows:

In the twentieth year of her age, she was married to William Miller… and after a very harmonious union of a few years, he was removed by death, leaving her with two daughters. This bereavement occurred during the revolutionary war between this country and Great Britain, when heavy contributions were levied on real estate, to meet the expenses of that contest.

Being possessed of a large landed estate, and restrained by her religious principles from paying taxes for the support of war, her personal property was taken, including all her stock of every description. Horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep were driven off to satisfy such demands, leaving her without any facilities to obtain from her farm the means of support for herself and her two little girls.

On one occasion, a few months after the decease of her husband, when on her way to visit her mother, then labouring under a disease that proved mortal; on coming to a turn in the road that gave her a view of her house, she saw one team at the mill loading with flour, and another at the barn loading with wheat in the sheaf, in obedience to the authorities entrusted with the charge of procuring supplies for the army. For a few moments she felt great discouragement, and was almost ready to sink under the accumulation of difficulties and afflictions that surrounded her, but her mind was remarkably arrested and impressed with a belief that she should be enabled to make such exertions as might be requisite for the support of herself and her children.

To this impression she had often subsequently to recur, and her confidence remained firm and her fortitude undaunted, through all the trials which attended her at that eventful period. Being left a widowed mother of two almost infant daughters, without father or brother to aid or protect her, and in a neighbourhood traversed in succession by detachments of both the contending armies — her situation required the exercise of great prudence and fortitude.

In this state of things, approaching to anarchy, many of those denominated collectors of taxes, being needy and unprincipled, seized valuable articles of furniture and personal estate of various descriptions, without form of law, which were sold without previous notice for less than half their value — in some instances, for not a fourth or sixth part — and often purchased by those who took them from their owners. Amid all these trials, she firmly maintained her adherence to the principles of peace, and often spoke in commemoration of that Power, that, though silent and unseen, sustains those who depend on it for guidance and support, in the path of obedience to manifested duty.

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