Recent Tax Resistance News of Note

Some tabs that have recently graced my browser:

  • NWTRCC has posted a recap of this year’s “Tax Day” actions with photos of various protests, penny polls, and redirection ceremonies around the United States.
  • The American Prospect published an editorial by Robert Kuttner recommending that Democrats respond with mass tax refusal to the next presidential election if it is won by fraud by the Republican candidate.
  • A group of towns surrounding Barcelona have organized a tax refusal campaign aimed at a “Barcelona Metropolitan Area” tax that they say benefits city residents at their expense. Tax receipts are down by about 25% during the (so far) three-year strike.
  • Taxpayers owed considerably more money than usual when they filed their income taxes this year — hundreds of billions more. And this is contributing to a record amount of income tax collection — both in terms of the raw amount, and in terms of the percent of GDP. This is probably because of a surge in capital gains last year (from which taxes are not withheld over the course of the year) but may be also because much of the recent increases in wealth have gone to people in higher tax brackets. This increase in the amount owed may cause a little extra “sticker shock” among affected taxpayers. On the other hand, refunds were also higher than usual this year, so I suppose it could even-out, attitudes-wise.
  • Spanish war tax resisters have been ramping up their activity as the Ukraine war prompts ever more military spending in Europe. In the Basque Country, for example, activists have set up offices of war tax resistance in Donostia, Gasteiz, and Bilbao to help people through the process of resistance and redirection.
  • Ruth Benn of NWTRCC shared her story of trying to access her IRS account on-line. The IRS is trying to let taxpayers access their information on-line so that the agency can take some pressure off their grievously swamped phone service lines. They’re also extra-sensitive to security issues, both because taxpayer account information can be private and sensitive, and because international fraudsters use such information to siphon money from the U.S. treasury. But at the same time, the steps they take to tighten security are frustrating and user-hostile (as Benn found), and raise the hackles of privacy advocates. This has put them in a tight spot, and the solutions they’ve come up with don’t seem to be solving their problem while at the same time they’re causing frustration for everyone involved.
  • There’s a new NWTRCC newsletter out.