To Start Resisting Income Tax, First Change Your Withholding

If you’re working for a paycheck, the first step in resisting the income tax is to figure out how to stop your employer from withholding it in the first place. To that end, NWTRCC has just released a flyer on how to control your federal income tax withholding by filing a W-4 form: While You Work… Stop Paying For War.

NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, also. It includes reports from the national conference in Vegas and from the international conference in Germany, some stories from people who have been trying to pay their taxes directly to particular government agencies rather than into the U.S. Treasury via the IRS, and a timeline of one family’s battle with the IRS over a faulty “frivolous filing” penalty.

Dave Ridley’s written up a report on the aftermath of his protest at the IRS office in Nashua, New Hampshire. Excerpts:

I held a sign and handed flyers to IRS workers which question the morality of working for an institution which funds waste and torture. Respectful in tone, these leaflets list constructive steps IRS employees could take which would reduce the amount of harm they are causing. They are, in the purest sense, petitions for a redress of grievances.

I left the office (slowly) after being ordered to. But when an article about this demonstration appeared in the Keene Free Press, Homeland Security officers came looking for me and issued me a sort of Federal traffic ticket. It charged me, essentially, with… petitioning the government for a redress of grievances! Specifically the charge was “Distribution of Handbills.”

I think it’s better just to make the government violate the Constitution in full view and keep your attorneys fees to yourself, even if it costs you the case. So when I declined to accept the citation, and the authorities summoned me to court in , I happily dropped by with eighteen friends, two rattlesnake flags, one copy of the Bill of Rights and zero lawyers.

…I have no idea how to play lawyer, but I just quoted Amendment One above and requested that the judge throw out this “constitutionally challenged” case.… I did get him to admit that the Constitution takes precedence over laws and regulations. But he and the prosecutor both said that the government can institute “reasonable regulations” to maintain security in Fed buildings.… It was like to them the Constitution was an endearing legend but not quite real. They say it takes precedence, but apparently regulation — not even law — takes precedence instead.

After this the judge asked for closing statements, and I just said that I appreciated everyone’s politeness but that a conviction would be indicative that the Constitution is no longer in effect. Judge Muirhead said something like “not on my watch is it ever going to stop being in effect.” Then, of course, he pronounced me guilty. He said I could pay the $125 fine at the Clerk’s office.

I was more amused than angry and we had some banter after this; he suggested I should appeal and said he was always in favor of citizens exploring constitutional rights using the courts. I expressed reservations about running my own little crusade at taxpayer expense; he said the guys at Appeals Court aren’t doing anything anyway. I said then you should shut those courts down. He laughed, and away we went.

…It is great to be able to address some of New Hampshire’s most prominent (if polite) tormenters and do it, I hope, in a way that reminds them we are not vindictive against them on a personal level, that we are peaceably and respectfully trying to gain our freedom. We’ve had a chance to display for them the whole Gandhi approach yet again, and each time this happens they get to know us better. Assuming we have done our jobs and they have consciences, it gets a little harder for them to inflict yet another anti-liberty evil in New Hampshire each time this happens. By now they should have a very clear understanding that when they hurt us, they are hurting decent people who are peaceably risking their freedoms to protect the country from its government.

USA Today today runs Kevin McCoy’s look at how the IRS gave out $200 million in fraudulent refunds thanks to their software modernization trainwreck.

As the peak of tax season approached last spring, the IRS discovered that a planned upgrade of the agency computer that red-flags potentially fraudulent tax refunds had failed. The discovery came after the IRS had shut down the older computer. The failure forced the agency to continue processing tax returns — and issuing refunds — without its first line of electronic defense against fraud.

USA TODAY’s review found that the IRS lacks a comprehensive plan to recover the $200 million, which the agency said represents far less than 1% of all tax refunds. That means most fraudulent filers who got federal checks in will likely never be caught.

Today, as looms, the IRS is restarting the older computer, because the nearly $21 million planned successor still isn’t operable.


Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the agency’s failure to see beyond rosy projections on the computer project and act on the warnings had hurt millions of Americans.

“There’s a lot of fraudulent tax returns that are filed … and for at least , they’re all going to get off scot-free,” says Grassley. “And it’s not just that they’re getting off scot-free — it’s that the honest taxpayers become the suckers.”

As someone who has been working in the software field for over a decade now, I’ve got some sympathy mixed with my schadenfreude. Big software projects are hard. Big software projects that involve trying to make a modern database out of a bunch of CoBOL written over 40 years ago for a huge government bureaucracy… break out the aspirin.

See The Picket Line , , and for more looks at the trainwreck.

[IRS Commissioner Mark] Everson said there’s little chance IRS will collect the bulk of the erroneously issued checks.

“We’re not going to go back. … That’s gone,” he said. “If you look at stopping frauds on refunds, you either stop it upfront, or it’s very hard to get that money.”