Tax Resistance News from Around the World

Some links from here and there:

  • The Literary Atlas of Wales has created an interesting interactive map-based exploration of the Rebecca Riots of the mid-19th century — a grassroots rebellion that focused on destroying the tollgates that were going up all over Wales: Plotting the Rebecca Riots.
  • Having been thwarted by the bonnets rouges (red caps) in its attempt to add a mileage tax to truck transport, the French government has attempted to attach an increased tax to vehicle fuel. Now a gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement has arisen to try to repeat the bonnets rouges’ success. The movement is organizing a highway blockade for .
  • Fuel tax protests are ramping up in New Zealand as well. In general, fuel taxes, carbon taxes, and other such “ecotaxes” seem to be a hard sell.
  • The Greek “won’t pay” movement continues to deploy guerrilla electricians to reconnect the power at households that have gone dark because of their inability or unwillingness to pay the inflated prices of the state utility monopoly.
  • NWTRCC held its Fall 2018 national gathering in Cleveland. Erica Leigh reports on the happenings, for the NWTRCC blog.
  • The grassroots war on traffic ticket issuing speed cameras continues:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has issued its latest financial audit of the IRS.

The report reiterates what we already knew — that most of what people fail to hand over to the government voluntarily, and the interest & penalties that the IRS adds to those amounts, the government never collects and never really expects to:

Analysis of Unpaid Assessments — Most Unpaid Assessments Are Not Receivables and Are Largely Uncollectible

The unpaid assessment balance includes amounts owed by taxpayers who file returns without sufficient payment as well as amounts assessed through the IRS enforcement programs. As reflected in the supplemental information to the IRS Financial Statements, the unpaid assessment balance was $398 billion… Of the total unpaid assessments balance, $215 billion (54 percent) consists of interest and penalties. Also, 45 percent of the total outstanding balance of IRS unpaid assessments is largely uncollectible because it is composed of compliance assessments and write-offs.… Write-offs are assessments considered to have no future collection potential.

A table further on in the report details this:

(In Billions)20182017
Federal taxes receivable, net$58$52
Total unpaid assessments$398$382
Compliance assessments(65)(74)
Gross federal taxes receivables218197
Allowance for uncollectible taxes receivable(160)(145)

The report also offered the latest estimate of the “tax gap”:

The gross tax gap is the amount of true tax liability for a given tax year not paid voluntarily and/or timely. The most recent estimate of the gross tax gap is $458 billion.…

There are three primary sources of noncompliance:

  1. nonfiling tax gap (the tax not paid on time by those who do not file required returns on time;
  2. underreporting tax gap (the net understatement of tax on timely filed returns); and
  3. underpayment tax gap (the amount of tax reported on timely filed returns not paid on time).

The estimated noncompliance of each of these components is $32 billion for nonfiling, $387 billion for underreporting, and $39 billion for underpayments. Additionaly, the gross tax gap can be grouped by type of tax, as follows:

  • $319 billion for individual income tax,
  • $44 billion for corporation income tax,
  • $91 billion for employment tax, and
  • $4 billion for combined estate and excise tax.

The net tax gap is the gross tax gap less tax subsequently collected for a tax year either voluntarily or from IRS administrative and enforcement activities. As a result, the net tax gap is the portion of the gross tax gap that will not be paid. The portion of gross tax gap to eventually be collected is estimated to be $52 billion, resulting in a net tax gap of $406 billion. The estimated net tax gap by type of tax is:

  • $291 billion for individual income tax,
  • $35 billion for corporation income tax,
  • $79 billion for employment tax, and
  • $1 billion for combined estate and excise tax.