Today, a pile of tax resistance links from hither and yon:
International Tax Resistance News
- There seems to be something of a tax insurrection in Denmark including the torching of a tax office and ten tax administration vehicles.
- Dave Ridley, on The Ridley Report podcast, ponders whether or not it is ethical to try to drain resources from the government in order to weaken it (for example, by filing lawsuits against it, or forcing its bureaucracy to waste time) or whether this is just adding insult to the original injury the government performed by taking the wasted funds from the taxpayer.
- Protesters in Detroit, Michigan, blocked the street in front of the county treasury building to protest the fact that despite plunging property values in Detroit, many homes have not been reassessed in years (in spite of a law mandating annual reassessments), and so the owners are on the hook for artificially inflated property taxes, which is pushing some of them into tax foreclosures.
- A brothel in Salzburg, Austria, has launched a free drinks and free sex promotion to protest high taxes on its receipts. You will probably not be surprised to learn that the protest has been wildly popular with the brothel’s clientele as well as with clickbait “news” sites.
- Residents of Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have launched a tax strike to protest against the government’s failure to provide them with adequate security against atrocities committed by the Allied Democratic Forces rebels. The tax resistance comes on the heels of a week-long general strike, and is being organized by “civil society” groups. The taxes being resisted are largely business taxes, both those on larger businesses and stall-fees paid by market vendors. Some of the organizers have reported being subjected to death threats.
- Palmerstown (Ireland) Residents against Water Charges held a mass burning of their water bills a little while back. Meanwhile, petitions signed by 15,000 anti-water charge protesters were given the cold shoulder in Cork.
- Market vendors in Githurai, Kenya have started withholding taxes from the county government to protest the government’s unwillingness or inability to provide basic services to the market.
- As Greece prepares to bid a national “δεν πληρώνω” (“won’t pay”) to their international creditors, the domestic δεν πληρώνω movement continues to innovate — lately with a new smartphone app that tells public transit users where they can expect ticket auditors and which stations are free-and-clear. Fines are down by ¼ to ⅓ from their numbers last year. In addition, overall tax revenue is in a tailspin in Greece. The government hoped to bring in €3.728 billion in May, for example, and only managed to scrape up €2.722 billion.
War Tax Resistance News
- Pioneering American war tax resister Juanita Nelson, who helped found the first modern American group devoted to war tax resistance (Peacemakers) in , and who died , was honored with a festive parade in her hometown of Greenfield, Massachusetts.
- War tax resister Don Schrader explains his stand in the New Mexico Daily Lobo: “How much good is it to pray, hope, and march for peace if we pay for war?”
- The group Conscience, which had been an important voice for war tax resisters in the U.K., has been undertaking an image makeover lately, in which it has deemphasized tax resistance in favor of lobbying and, alas, lately is lobbying for a particularly pathetic “taxes for peace” bill that is a somewhat new formulation of the “peace tax”-style legislation but that has at least as many flaws as such bills usually have.
- I see another IRS building has been evacuated because of a “suspicious package” — this time in Andover, Massachusetts.
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration identified an estimated two and a half billion dollars in previously-unnoticed fraudulently-requested tax refunds issued by the IRS for tax year . That’s roughly the size of the budget of the National Parks Service. Many of the payments went to addresses outside of the country, like to Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Ireland, so maybe I should have compared it to a foreign aid program: in the same ballpark as the amount the State Department gave to Israel.
- The problem (or is it a solution) of identity theft playing havoc on the U.S. tax system is only likely to get worse… especially after hackers managed to lift personnel records for just about every employee of the federal government including social security numbers and a wealth of other identifying information.