Some links that have skipped past my browser in recent days:
- Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said of protesters in Iran: “People should stop paying electricity, water, and gas bills. They should not pay their tax. They should withdraw their money from banks.” The remarks were made in a press interview.
- KQED commentator Luke Pease has lost interest in being a responsible taxpayer and now is on the lookout for businesses that offer a “discount for cash” and other opportunities to evade taxes levied by a government that has lost his moral support.
- The new federal tax law restricts how much people can take deductions on their federal tax returns for the state and local taxes they have paid. Some states and localities are toying with ways to allow taxpayers to recharacterize their taxes as charitable donations to get around the restrictions. On the other hand, the Tax Foundation is skeptical that such games will pass muster.
- Demonstrators in Urabá, Colombia, following in the footsteps of the Rebecca Rioters and the Bonnets Rouges, put two new highway tollbooths to the torch .
- The vast majority of people whose bank accounts were abruptly seized by the IRS for “structuring currency transactions” (defined as deliberately depositing amounts under $10,000 in order not to have the transactions reported to the government) had earned that money legitimately, contrary to the government’s representations that such transactions were evidence of criminal activity, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The law permits the IRS to seize money in such cases without having to go to the trouble of proving a crime, forcing the suddenly-impoverished owners to go to court to prove their innocence if they want to see their money again. The widespread abuse of this practice has led the agency to back off somewhat from the use of this tool.