Recent links of note:
- The Catalan independence group Assemblea Nacional Catalana asked the Generalitat de Catalunya to give formal legal protection to taxpayers who send their taxes to the Catalan regional government rather than to the Spanish central government. Currently, the Catalan tax agency forwards such payments to the Spanish government, so resisters who pay their taxes to Catalonia instead of Spain are engaging in a mostly-symbolic action. But separatists hope that the Catalan government at some point could end such forwarding, or threaten to do so, as a tactic to further the cause of independence.
- The military junta in Myanmar is sending soldiers door to door to threaten to kill resisters who have been refusing to pay government bills.
Myanmar’s shadow Opposition government, the National Unity Government, has urged the public to stop paying for electricity. In , it said that 97 percent of people in Mandalay and 98 percent in Yangon had done so, costing the regime $1 billion by that point.
For a while now, U.S. taxpayers have been able to access some of their tax records held by the IRS via the agency’s on-line portal. This required a somewhat onerous process of signing up for an account — a process that’s a bit more invasive and difficult than signing up for a similar account at your bank. I’ve tried to talk a few war tax resisters through the process because it can be useful to have better visibility into what information the IRS is assembling about you. But often, they throw up their hands at some point and say it’s not worth it, because it really does seem like more trouble than it ought to be.
Apparently it wasn’t nearly awful enough yet. “We’re bringing you an improved sign-in experience,” says the agency. Improved how? Read it and weep.
The agency says that by , the only way to log in to irs.gov will be through ID.me, an online identity verification service that requires applicants to submit copies of bills and identity documents, as well as a live video feed of their faces via a mobile device.
[C]ompleting the process requires submitting at least two secondary identification documents, such as as a Social Security card, a birth certificate, health insurance card, W-2 form, electric bill, or financial institution statement.
After re-uploading all of this information, ID.me’s system prompted me to “Please stay on this screen to join video call.” However, the estimated wait time when that message first popped up said “3 hours and 27 minutes.”
- The income of “closely-held businesses” (Schedule C / pass-through / non-corporately structured) in the United States is taxed at special rates and with special rules, but on the owners’ individual tax returns. A new report from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center says that these special rules, combined with some clever gaming of the rules and some outright noncompliance, mean that about half of that income goes completely untaxed.
- More traffic ticket radar robots fell to gunfire, paint, and fire in the ongoing human rebellion, in New York, Kazakhstan, France, Germany, and Italy, in recent weeks.
- The latest encouraging trend: clever children as young as nine years old launching distributed denial of service attacks against the computer networks of the schools that institutionalize them.
One theory is that youngsters can fall into denial-of-service attacks by firstly playing online games, and then falling into installing mods, hacks, and even remote access trojans to get the upperhand on their gaming rivals.