Some recent links of interest:
- In recent years, something in the neighborhood of 40–45% of American households have not owed any federal income tax. This is due to a combination of factors including progressive tax rates and tax deductions & credits that shield a certain amount of income from tax. Although fabulously wealthy people who do not pay income tax are certainly a thing, most of this group of “lucky duckies” come from the bottom half of the income scale. In , with its pandemic-related economic disruption and the stimulus payments that took the form of refundable tax credits, the numbers jumped: the Tax Policy Center estimates that 61% of U.S. households paid no federal income tax .
- Under a newish law the U.S. government will be issuing advance “Child Tax Credits” to qualifying families with children as checks periodically throughout the year. These checks take the place of the refundable tax credit that such families would have used to offset their federal taxes at annual tax filing time in past years. Interestingly, the IRS has directed its enforcement personnel to avoid seizing money from bank accounts in which these Child Tax Credits have been direct-deposited and to refund any inadvertently seized Child Tax Credits.
- “Council Tax Strike” is a subproject of the Extinction Rebellion movement in the U.K. They claim: “There are people all over the U.K. withholding their council tax and demanding action on the things that matter to them.”
- The human war on traffic-ticket-issuing robot cameras continues, with the drones smashed and spraypainted over in Italy and France, blocked bodily in Britain and set on fire in France, blown to bits in Germany and disabled in various ways in France, cut down in France and destroyed in the Netherlands, foamed in France, torched in Guadeloupe, and toppled in Italy in recent weeks.
- The National Catholic Reporter looks back on the nuclear disarmament activism of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen: “ ‘I think the teaching of Jesus tells us to render to a nuclear-armed Caesar what that Caesar deserves — tax resistance. And to begin to render to God alone that complete trust which we now give, through our tax dollars, to a demonic form of power,’ he said in his ‘Faith and Disarmament’ speech. ‘Some would call what I am urging “civil disobedience.” I prefer to see it as obedience to God.’ ”
- TaxNotes reminds us that Thoreau’s arrest for tax resistance wasn’t even legally authorized and so it’s something of a lucky fluke that Thoreau spent the night in jail that led to his influential essay.