Eight Letters from the I.R.S. Today

Today I got eight letters from the IRS, one for each year in which I have a tax debt (in 2008 I didn’t owe any tax, so that year is missing). Each letter tells me the amount I haven’t paid for that year, including interest and penalties.

They do this every year, so this isn’t unexpected. But there are two things that make it remarkable this year:

  1. The oldest year in the stack is tax year . Since it’s currently , the ten-year statute of limitations clock is really ticking on this one. The agency has until to collect.
  2. The total for those years comes to $46,259. When they notice that I haven’t paid my taxes either, that will bring the total up above $50,000. At that point, according to a new law whose implementation is only now being rolled out, the IRS is supposed to notify the State department that I’m a notorious tax scofflaw, and that agency is then authorized to rescind my passport. I really hope they don’t. But that adds to the risks I’m taking with this approach.

In other news:

  • War tax resisters in Maine are holding a gathering and concert.
  • Gloria Steinem continues to advocate tax redirection as a way of overturning Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and other services. Excerpts:
    Amy Goodman
    How are you going to take him on? It’s not only Donald Trump. There is a majority-Republican House and Senate. They’re vowing to take down Planned Parenthood, to defund it, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. How are you going to do this?
    Gloria Steinem
    Well, one day at a time. For instance, if they defund Planned Parenthood and defund NPR, we can take that money out of our income tax, put a note with our return saying, “Sorry, I’ve sent it where it should go. Come and get me.” If enough people do that, it’s very difficult to do anything about it. We did it in the Vietnam era. And then, we just — it was more difficult, in a way, because we were just keeping the money. This is more positive, because we’re actually giving the money where it should go.
    Gloria Steinem
    You know, Planned Parenthood is, of course, necessary to women’s health in this country. A very—what? One percent of it goes toward abortion. It does everything, we know—breast exams and everything else. So it would be incredibly expensive to every emergency room in the nation, if they were not able to serve women and men in the way that they do. Therefore, if they defund it, we’ll take money out of our income tax and send it direct.
  • At the NWTRCC blog, Erica Weiland tells the stories of war tax resisters who have successfully used the Fifth Amendment to refuse to provide information to the IRS.
  • It’s rare in the United States for people who engage in civil disobedience for reasons of moral necessity to be able to make such an argument in court, and it’s even rarer for such an argument to succeed. But four anti-drone protesters were found innocent by a jury of charges of obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, and trespass earlier this month.