Tax Resistance News from Around the World

Some bits and pieces from here and there:

  • The gilets jaunes movement in France continues its series of weekend protests. The focus of the movement drifted over time from opposition to increased motor fuel taxes to regime-change, with every other opposition movement in the land seeming to want to try to hitch their wagon to the cause as well (which made it hard for me to get a good grip on things from this side of the language barrier). Recently, the government began to crack down more severely on the protests: bringing in counter-terrorist military units to supplement law enforcement, and banning protesters and protest regalia from certain urban areas. Now the movement seems to be struggling to maintain its momentum and the government is trying to wait it out.
  • Goethe-University Frankfurt is hosting a workshop on “Not paying taxes: Tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax resistance in historical perspective”.

    [W]e want to examine the different practices and forms of withholding and avoiding personal and financial duties, fees and taxes over time and among different social, professional and other groups. This includes, on the one hand, open and organized tax resistance on moral, economic and political grounds, challenging the existing legal or political order and claiming more or a different form of tax justice and redistribution, or a modification of how taxes are collected. In these cases, personal or financial duties were often seen as a form of humiliation and a marker of subordinated status. On the other hand, taxes and duties were often not resisted publically but rather avoided or evaded in secret. These terms refer to notions that distinguish between legal practices of lowering the intended burden and thus saving taxes or fees, and maneuvers that were classified as illegal or criminal. Such categorizations, though, depend on changing moral and legal perceptions and/or on class-related negotiating power.

    They are accepting proposals for papers until .
  • Citizen Truth reviews the new documentary about war tax resister Larry Bassett: “The Pacifist” and American war tax resister and holocaust survivor Bernard Offen is also featured in a new documentary: “Love, Light & Courage”.
  • Every year, the Tax Foundation announces what it bills as “Tax Freedom Day” — the day when Americans have earned enough money to pay their annual tax bill. This year that day comes on . Up to now, we’ve all been working for The Man. The calculation and the Tax Foundation’s publication of it is a reasonable attempt at making the tax bite less anesthetic.
  • Here’s yet another article about the staffing crisis at the IRS. This one quotes the new Service Commissioner Charles Rettig as saying “the IRS ‘lost an entire generation’ of employees during a hiring freeze that took place between 2011 and 2018.” Their trained, experienced employees are retiring in droves, with no replacements. And they’re trying to fill crucial Information Technology positions at a time when there’s high demand for talent in that industry from the private sector, which is able to make much more attractive offers.
  • One of the strategists behind the Otpor movement that helped to topple the Milosevic regime in has created The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns, which has been released as a free PDF by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.
  • Amancio Plaza examines The Heroic Tax Resistance of the Suffragettes at the LawAndTrends blog (in Spanish).