Fred X wrote to me today:

So I wrote back with some questions, starting with: “Did you find lowering your income below the tax threshold was harder or easier than you expected?”

“Did you have to lower your income more or less than you’d anticipated?”

“Do you think of the decision to do this as more of a personal washing-blood-from-the-hands sort of thing, or more as a protest, or more of a practical strategy to defund the government (or something else entirely)?”


One gambit that tax protesters have used in the past has been to insist that the fifth amendment to the constitution prohibits the government from compelling people to reveal details about their financial lives, and that therefore they should not be compelled to file tax returns. The IRS has pretty well shot this one down, but…

In ’s news is an item that might reopen this issue. The Boston Globe reports that “[t]he Internal Revenue Service is exploring ways to share names, addresses, birth dates, employee records, and other taxpayer information with law-enforcement agencies, particularly the Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to legislative aides and senior tax attorneys.… Currently, the IRS must obtain a court order before it can share information with another governmental agency.”

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