Tax Resistance News from Around the World

Today, some of the international tax resistance news that’s been collecting in my bookmarks in recent weeks:


The tumult in Nicaragua continues.

  • The University Alliance for Democracy and Justice has called on businesses to join a prolonged tax strike and a short general strike, aimed at forcing the resignation of President Ortega. The statement from the group accused the organized business sector of being “accomplices” and “complicit” with the Ortega regime because of their inaction thus far.
  • I noted a list of tax resistance tactics being posted on Twitter (#SOSNicaragua). Here’s my translation:

    Tips for economically punishing the Daniel Ortega regime

    Tips for practicing autonomous tax resistance

    To win freedom by nonviolent means is not easy work. The force holding the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship together is money and with our taxes we are fueling that repressive force that treats us as though we were inferior beings, with hatred and contempt. The police do not protect us, they attack us, and incredibly we pay them to do it. No more! As citizens we can reduce our monetary contributions to this regime by making a tax boycott.

    Here is a list of tax resistance methods that we can practice in our daily lives:

    Limit your purchases to tax-exempt items
    • Domestic fruits and vegetables, unpackaged rice and sugar, domestic vegetable oil, eggs, bread, milk, and cheese.
    • Domestic meat and cuts of meat other than loins or steaks.
    • Personal hygiene and household products produced in Nicaragua.
    • Do not ask for a bill for your purchase. If it’s a “vandal” business, they will be free not to report the tax on your purchase. [Vice President Rosario Murillo has called anti-regime protesters “vandals.”]
    • Buy from the informal sector. Small businesses, stretches of the marketplace, groceries and businesses under the fixed-fee system. You can ask the business-owner which tax system they fall under if you have any doubt.
    • Reduce purchases made with credit or debit cards. The government keeps 1.5% of every purchase made with a card.
    • Reduce your spending on entertainment activities and on the consumption of alcohol.
    • If you do consume alcohol, try to do so in places that do not issue invoices. In general such places are where the drinks are less expensive.
    • If you are going to eat out, try to do so in traditional places, not in the chain restaurants.
    • Buy only what you need. The regime urges “normalcy” in order to encourage consumption.

    These methods will be effective if enough people join in for a considerable time. In addition, they will help you to save, which is welcome in these times of crisis.

    You will demonstrate our solidarity with the suffering of political prisoners and with the families of the victims who keep crying out for justice to a system that has no intention of giving it to them.

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  • Robert McGee has published another in his series of studies of attitudes across cultures about the ethics of tax evasion. The latest probes Chinese business students — those studying in the United States and in China.
  • continues to do great work in tracking down examples of people disabling traffic-ticket-generating speed- and red-light-cameras, including, recently:
  • When the Kenyan government slapped a 16% tax on petroleum products, petroleum transporters launched a strike, leading to fuel shortages in Nairobi. “Kenya’s energy regulator has revoked the license of the Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors Association for allegedly leading the fuel boycott,” a news report says, “equating their action to economic sabotage.”
  • Attorney Carlos Muriete has called on residents of La Rioja, Argentina to stop paying property and vehicle taxes to protest inadequate municipal services. “The city is wrecked, there are craters that cars fall into and serious accidents can occur, it is dirty, full of rats, sewage is running in the streets, there is no control of the dogs and the health of the people is in danger,” he said.