Dave Ridley Imprisoned for Leafletting at I.R.S. Office

Back in the day (see The Picket Line , , , & , and & ) Dave Ridley went to his local IRS office and handed leaflets to the employees there, asking them to quit their jobs and take up a more honorable line of work instead.

He was later charged with “Distribution of Handbills” — apparently it’s illegal to hand leaflets to IRS employees while they’re on duty.

Ridley thought that was ridiculous, and refused to pay the $125 fine. his contempt of court was officially acknowledged, and he was sentenced to a four-day jail term. If you want to drop him a line, he’ll be at:
David Ridley
Essex County Jail
165 Marston Street
Lawrence, MA 01841

Those of you who are doing W-4 resistance” — adjusting the allowances you claim on your W-4 form so that less income tax is withheld from your paychecks — may note that the IRS has been making some changes to its W-4 policies in recent years (see The Picket Line , , & ).

, some more details emerged. Excerpts from one report:

The final regulations do not require the routine submission of Forms W-4, but permit the IRS to require submission of Forms W-4 under specific criteria either by written notice or by future published guidance. The final regulations do not change an employee’s obligation to provide an accurate Form W-4 to an employer and to satisfy his or her tax liability on a timely basis. Employees may be subject to penalties if they claim excessive withholding exemptions on Forms W-4 or fail to file their tax returns and pay their full tax liabilities on a timely basis.

Notice on maximum exemptions

The IRS may issue a notice to an employer specifying the maximum number of withholding exemptions permitted for a specific employee. The IRS will send the notice both to the employer (with a copy for the employee) and to the employee directly. The final regulations provide that the earliest the notice may be effective is 45 calendar days after the date of the notice.…

The notice to an employer specifying the maximum withholding exemptions permitted for a specific employee will also specify the marital status for purposes of calculating the required withholding under the notice. The employer must use the maximum number of withholding exemptions permitted and marital status specified in the notice for calculating income tax withholding, unless a new withholding exemption certificate is submitted by the employee that must be honored under these final regulations.

If, at any time, the employee furnishes a withholding exemption certificate that claims a marital status, a number of withholding exemptions, and any additional withholding that results in more withholding than would result from applying the marital status and number of withholding exemptions permitted in the notice, the employer must withhold tax based on that certificate.

Employers may not accept a substitute form developed by an employee, and the employee submitting such form will be treated as failing to furnish a withholding exemption certificate.

The phrase “withholding exemption certificate” is a new one to me, and I wasn’t able to find much in the way of clarification on-line. It may just be another name for the W-4 form (the IRS titles its version of this form “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate”), or perhaps it is some additional piece of paperwork.