Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Peter J. Reilly, who has a blog at the Forbes website, writes about how the IRS labels conscientious objectors to military taxation “frivolous” as a way of discouraging dissent, and how war tax resister Elizabeth Boardman is challenging this in court.
- Some developments in the “won’t pay” movement in Greece:
- The movement’s guerrilla electricians reconnected the electricity to a poor family in Bournazi that had been unable to pay the tax-swollen rates. They invited the media along, as there’s something newsworthy about the tax collector leaving an unemployed man, his oxygen-tank-using mother, and school-aged child in the dark: “The cold and lack of power create medieval conditions for the poor family who lacked the basics: could not cook, heat, wash, preserve food and medicine in the refrigerator, or read to the young schoolgirl. In a nutshell: hell.”
- Twenty toll-gate-lifters in Larissa and Volos have been indicted for inciting people to pass without paying tolls. The Panhellenic Federation of Workers Associations of the Local Government has taken the side of the resisters, saying that “the trial is a clear criminalization of the mass political movement against tolls.… the criminalization of ideas and therefore constitutes a flagrant violation of democratic and constitutional liberties and criminalization of belief… it is a clear attempt to terrorize the resistance of our people, especially the practices of those who in an increasingly massive way endorse social disobedience and resistance to act against the tax hike…”
- I wish I could read Greek or that mechanical translation were more sophisticated. This page seems to be describing a tax resistance tactic that involves paying a single euro in road tax to the federal government, accompanied with a letter of protest about how road taxes & fees are being siphoned off by foreign creditors rather than being used to keep the roads in decent repair.
- The government is trying to promote a new social norm in which people will be free to refuse to pay for goods and services they receive, unless they are presented with a printed receipt — this in an attempt to crack down on off-the-books transactions. The government has signaled that it won’t prosecute people who steal from merchants in such circumstances.
- The National Taxpayer Advocate (a sort of ombudsman within the IRS) issued her annual report recently.
One bit caught my eye: the Advocate estimates that U.S. taxpayers spend a combined 6,100,000,000 hours per year doing the recordkeeping and filing they have to do to be tax compliant.
Janet Novak, at Forbes, puts that in perspective:
That’s the equivalent of more than 3 million workers toiling away full time, all year. By way of comparison, the Federal government employs the equivalent of 2.1 million full-time civilian workers and Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, has 1.4 million workers in the U.S., although not all are full time.