Tax Resistance News from Here and There

Some tabs that have passed through my browser in recent days:

War Tax Resistance

  • CBC News profiles Canadian war tax resisters Charlotte & Ernie Weins.
  • War tax resisters in the United States celebrated “Tax Day” with the usual protests, penny polls, leafletting, and other methods of outreach.
  • The Berkeley Daily Planet covered the People’s Life Fund annual granting ceremony in which they redirected $15,000 in taxes from the federal government to local charitable groups.
  • The war tax redirection movement in Spain has also been gearing up. Here’s an example page promoting this year’s campaign. Excerpt (translation mine):

    The refusal to collaborate economically with the state, in the financing of military spending and other things that we consider socially unjust or harmful, empowers us and allows us, collectively and cooperatively, to show our opposition to certain state policies, to generate a social debate about the model of society that we want, while at the same time to promote the construction of “another possible world” by giving economic support in solidarity with other transformative struggles that exist in our society and elsewhere.

Other Tax Resistance News

  • The “Learnt” comic presents a one-page cartoon primer on tax resistance.
  • J.D. Tuccille, at Reason, examines the ongoing collapse of tax morale in the United States: “Americans are increasingly reluctant to pay the IRS. Who can blame them?”
  • Mike Causey, at Federal News Network, adds another article to the growing consensus that the IRS is in a world of pain. Causey includes a long quote from an anonymous “long-time career IRS manager” who says:

    …There are barely enough people left keeping the lights on to barely allow enough people to barely meet far reduced goals.… Millions of dollars of production are lost due to not having hundreds of dollars of resources on a regular basis.

    Most of the personnel with most of the talent and experience have retired or fled to the private sector…

  • The Republican tax reform legislation does seem to have cut taxes for just about everyone. But only a minority of people think they personally got a tax cut. This may be in part because of Democratic talking points about the cuts having only gone to the wealthy — they seem to have hit their target and sown doubt about what the legislation accomplished. It may also be because tax refunds haven’t gotten any bigger for the typical taxpayer, and changes in tax withholding aren’t salient enough to make an impression. This may also erode tax morale by contributing to the impression that lawmakers are jiggering the tax code to favor the other guy. A majority of Americans believe the federal tax system is not fair, and among Democrats in particular, perceptions of the fairness of the federal tax system are lower than they have been in recent memory.
  • Automated traffic-ticket-dispensing radar cameras in France have undergone an extraordinary wave of attacks by frustrated motorists. Statistics on the extent of the attacks and their effect on government revenue continue to come in. The latest show that revenue from radar vans in particular dropped 42% last year.
  • The IRS is hoping to get a bunch of new funding for a desperately-needed computer modernization effort. Problem is, this isn’t the first time, and the last couple of times they’ve gotten a bunch of new funding for desperately-needed computer modernization efforts, they’ve bungled it badly. Will Congress let them take another swing? Do they have a choice?