Tax Resistance News from Around the World

Some tabs that have crossed my browser in recent days:

  • Pete Brace, an environmental activist from the U.K., stopped filing his tax return in , relying on a law that makes it a crime to encourage or assist the commission of various crimes (such as crimes facilitated by taxpaying, thanks to government negligence about climate change). Brace shares his correspondence with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs at his website. This may be helpful to other resisters trying to navigate that government’s tax collection bureaucracy, and perhaps also a source of inspiration to climate change activists curious about adding tax resistance to their set of tactics.
  • Some more details are emerging about the tax strike launched in Lebanon. The activists have been testing the waters for some time now to see how much support they can expect, but now seem to be putting a broad tax strike into effect including municipal taxes, income taxes, value-added taxes, government-run utility bills, and traffic tickets. Businesses are being encouraged to pay wages in cash to facilitate resistance by their employees.
  • The IRS has declared that it plans to step up its face-to-face visits with “taxpayers with ongoing tax issues”.

    The IRS routinely conducts these face-to-face visits. The primary factors of these visits are to make contact with taxpayers who have a previously known tax issue that wasn’t resolved through mail contact. The first face-to-face contact from a revenue officer is almost always unannounced.

    The article notes that the IRS will announce that it plans to conduct such visits in a particular area ahead of time (how this announcement will be made is left vague).
  • I noted a news mention of some “sovereign citizen”-style tax resisters from Florida. One thing that caught my eye was their insistence that they’re “aboriginal indigenous Moorish Americans” which I remember from the bizarre mythology of the Nuwaubian cult which I’d investigated years ago. But I was also intrigued by the outline of their interesting fraud, which involved claiming to the IRS that they’d won the lottery but (apparently) had had too much money withheld for taxes, and so were due a refund. “The IRS paid them $3.4 million before the agency realized the pair had never purchased a winning ticket, prosecutors say.” Flush with success, they pushed their luck, claiming to win the lottery year after year after year, and not giving up even after the IRS raided the home of one of the schemers.
  • The human war on traffic ticket robots continues, with the robot hordes taking casualties in France, Guadeloupe, Italy, and Australia in recent weeks.
  • The Greek government is considering extreme measures to crack down on a culture of tax evasion. The Prime Minister has proposed legislation that would require people to use traceable, electronic payment systems rather than cash for many transactions. One way they would enforce this would be that if a Greek citizen did not spend at least 30% of their income via these traceable means, they would be subject to an additional 22% tax on the untraced portion.