The I.R.S. Sends Me a Final Notice of Intent to Levy

I got another letter from the IRS today about my unpaid taxes from .

This time it’s a “final notice of intent to levy” letter (a.k.a “Letter 1058”) that came by “certified mail” (which meant I had to sign for it). They sent me two copies of the letter, for reasons inscrutable, along with a one-sheet explanation of how they assess penalties & interest, a hopeful return envelope, and copies of Publication 594 (“The IRS Collection Process”), Publication 1660 (“Collection Appeal Rights”), and Form 12153 (“Request for a Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing”).

If past experience is any guide, within a few months they’ll try to find some account from which they can seize this money.

If you’re following along at home, in I filed a return indicating that the IRS would expect me to pay $3,863 (which included a penalty for having failed to pay quarterly installments of my self-employment tax). Since then, the IRS has added about $404 in interest and penalties to that amount, so that they’re now after me for a touch more than $4,267.

Someone with the Kafkaesque pseudonym of “Citizen K” has posted an Armistice Day message from an American war tax resister to American veterans.

To me, it seems to have a split personality and a repulsive self-loathing. On the one hand, the author is “enormously proud” of the veterans and “wholly indebted to their legacy” and “truly thankful” for the “rights and freedoms [that] were hard-won” by such “[b]rave men and women [who] gave their lives for cowards like me.” Indeed:

My words and actions are an affront to their memory, and I am not worthy of their sacrifice.

But on the other hand, because the author is “a peaceful man” whose “religion prohibits me from participating in any form of violence,” he has been unwilling to pay taxes to support all of that honorable stuff he’s so proud of, because, though he is wholly indebted and truly thankful for the legacy of these brave men and women, “[m]y daughter, my wife, my family deserves better from me. My efforts should build our lives together, not tear down other lives in lands far away.”

While I don’t agree with the need to enforce our national superiority through violence and bloodshed, I respect those who do. Without them I would not be free to write this and I know that.

Thank you to all those who came before me, and who continue to fight for what they believe in.

It’s hard to believe anyone could contain this much cognitive dissonance in his head without just going completely around the bend.

If Barack, Hilary, and John could agree on anything over the last year, it was that we needed to spend more money on the military. However: “A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department’s current budget is ‘not sustainable,’ and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military’s most prized weapons programs.”

How the hell did that happen?

This assessment is coming from the Defense Business Board, which is composed of people appointed by the Dubya Squad’s own U.S. Secretary of “Defense.” This isn’t some peaceniky group of outsiders.

The group’s conclusions could provide some political cover for Obama should he decide to target some of the Pentagon pork to make way for deficit reduction, lower taxes, or for spending on other programs. On the other hand, Democrats — always excruciatingly sensitive to being labeled “soft” — may see this as a trap and may fear running against Republican candidates who accuse them of weakening U.S. military might.

Pro-lifers are already starting to contemplate tax resistance as they expect that the new administration in Washington may rescind prohibitions on federal funding for abortion. One writes, somewhat histrionically:

The issue at stake here is the use of our tax dollars by the federal government to pay for the performance of abortions or euthanasia. I, nor any other Roman Catholic, cannot, in good faith, contribute materially (i.e. monetarily), to abortion. Should I be conscious of the fact that my tax dollars are being used to fund abortion or euthanasia, I can be declared in schism with the Catholic Church and be disallowed by my local bishop from receiving the Eucharist at Mass. In order to retain my standing as a faithful Catholic, in harmony with the Church, I will be placed in the position of having to perform an act of civil disobedience by becoming a tax resister. As past tax resisters have all failed utterly in defending their position before courts of law, I will likely suffer legal consequences for my failure to pay taxes to the federal government (granted, past tax resisters have not objected to said taxes on a religious basis, but rather on a constitutional law basis; I believe the result will be the same, however, regardless of the basis of the objection). To borrow a scenario from Dinesh D’Souza’s book, Letters to a Young Conservative (pages 81–82), should I refuse to pay my taxes, the government will kill me. D’Souza explains that the government will fine me for not paying my taxes and, after some time, send federal agents out to seize my property. I will, not unreasonably, attempt to defend my property; given that I will be outnumbered by trained, well-armed federal agents, I will likely lose my life in the ensuing fracas. So there, in a nutshell, is the problem: as a Catholic I cannot, in good faith, pay money to the federal government that I know will be used to perform an abortion; the government will object to this and either imprison or murder me.