Italy’s Northern League Urged to Adopt Tax Resistance

Mario Unnia of the Italian Business Ethics Network had an op-ed in il legno storto last week in which he recommended tax resistance to the Northern League. From Google’s machine translation, which, though clumsy, gets the point across:

…In the Northern League who pays taxes is an irreducible conflict between him and those who do not pay, especially if they live under in Florence, because the money collected through taxes the state delivers services in the beneficiary is also the evader.…

Yet, one wonders, there is some other solution that would alleviate this suffering?

Maybe. The League could be considered a form of protest called “mutiny tax.” The dictionary defines the mutiny “an offense under the military penal code which consists of a qualified and collective disobedience,” and then the mutiny tax may qualify as a crime.

But there is another way of understanding the mutiny tax, a milder form of protest, yet very significant, is the tradition and Anglo American. If the League of paying taxes, skeptical on the outcome of the fight against tax evasion, asked as compensation cutting wasteful spending, but the government, while being able to do, it does not, they might decide to pay due to an account bound to a bank run by men of the League, and to transfer the money to tax only in respect of the future reduction of costs in proportion to the actual cutting. Thus both the VAT, and employees, but would honor the obligation to require the Government. There are thousands of legal and political objections to this proposal, in relation to revenue from taxes on income, but there would be less if, for example, the tax protest concern special taxes, as the arena and had the local communities.

Of course the mutiny is the last fiscal response to an untenable situation, but desperate times desperate measures. This form of mutiny would certainly created a strong legal controversy, but has a high political significance. For the League would be a factor in renewed confidence with his people, and contains a warning to the government: tax have the knife in his hand citizens. But there is a question: since the mutiny tax those who do usually pay taxes, the League is confident that his people fall into this category worthy? If so, can seize the initiative.

From the Eugene Register-Guard:

Nay Saying Taxpayers Reject Arms Expenditures

By John Pierson
Of United Press International

Folk singer Joan Baez, who usually raises her crystal-clear voice only in song, has raised it in protest against the federal income tax.

“I do not believe in war. I do not believe in the weapons of war. I am not going to volunteer the 60 per cent of my year’s income tax that goes to armaments,” Miss Baez recently wrote the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The 22-year-old singer thus joined a little band of “tax refusers” who believe that by “personal disarmament” they are “showing the way to world disarmament.”

Though small in numbers, these conscientious objectors to defense spending are costing an irritated IRS much time an effort. The agency’s job is to collect taxes, and it is not easily discouraged from doing so.

“Conscientious objector” is a description that would probably appeal to the tax refusers. A group known as the Peacemakers, with headquarters in Cincinnati, claims to stand not only for non-payment of federal income taxes but also for non-registration for the military draft, “economic sharing, personal revolution (inner transformation) and non-violence as a principle of life.”

In , prior to the deadline for filing federal tax returns, the Peacemakers distributed several thousand copies of a pamphlet, “watch your dollars or they will vote for war.” According to this publication, out of every dollar the federal government spends, 79 cents goes for wars “past, present and future.” This reckoning includes the national debt and interest on the debt from World War Ⅱ, as well as veterans’ pensions.

“There is no good reason to cooperate with evil,” the pamphlet said.

The government takes a dim view of this sort of activity. One Treasury official, deploring tax refusal as “inconsistent with the democratic process,” told UPI that people who object to defense spending should “bring pressure to bear on Congress,” if they can, in order to get disarmament.

The IRS doesn’t stop with pious utterance. “We have no authority to excuse anyone from complying with the internal revenue laws, no matter what beliefs or reasons he may have for not wishing to do so,” said one tax official.

IRS begins by writing the tax refuser a letter. The agency points out the futility of paying only 40 per cent or 21 per cent or whatever on the grounds that the rest would “go for war.” It says that federal income tax revenues are not earmarked for specific purposes. They all go into the general fund of the Treasury.

Thus, whatever amount of money a taxpayer sends in, some of it will be used to buy missiles, helmet liners, etc.

After lecturing the tax refuser on the democratic principle “that the majority opinion shall prevail,” the IRS warns him that unless the tax refuser coughs up, the IRS will take the money out of his bank account or will seize some other asset. Under the law, the tax agency has authority to do this.

Joan Baez was aware of the law when she announced she was going to pay only 40 per cent. While unwilling to “volunteer” the rest, she planned to put it “aside” and pay it only “when they come for it.”

“I’m not ready yet to go to jail,” Miss Baez told a reporter.

Neither is San Francisco bookstore owner Roy C. Kepler. Ever since , Kepler, too, has been sending the government only 40 per cent. “Why should I pay more?” he asked. “That extra 60 per cent is budgeted for genocide.”

And every year, a couple of months after the April 15 deadline, a revenue agent visits Kepler’s bank, shows a tax lien, and quietly withdraws the unpaid balance, plus 6 per cent interest for late payment.

Last year writer Edmund Wilson, published a book, “The Cold War and the Income Tax.” Wilson was not a refuser to begin with. He simply neglected to file any returns for the years , thinking “that this obligation could always be attended to later.”

But when IRS came after the money, Wilson began to look into what the taxes go for. Like the Peacemakers, he came to the conclusion that “the bulk of the nation’s funds is being spent … on the exploration of space, the arrears from past wars and the preparation, in prospect of future wars, of the instruments of wholesale destruction and deliberate contamination.”

Since Wilson was unable to pay all the money the government said he owed, he signed a “collateral agreement” whereby he paid some money down and agreed to give the IRS everything he earned over a certain amount for the next three years.

But disenchanted with what the money would go for, Wilson said he would “out-maneuver” both the collateral agreement and the basic taxes themselves “by making as little money as possible and so keeping below taxable levels.”

Whatever IRS thought, this philosophy and strategy didn’t stop President Johnson from giving Wilson one of 31 presidential merits of freedom. The medal is described as “the highest civilian honor conferred by the President for service in peacetime.”

The Wilson citation read:

“Critic and historian, he has converted criticism into a creative act, while setting for the nation a stern and uncompromising standard of independent judgment.”

The Vote

From the issue of The Vote:

Miss Evelyn Sharp’s Bankruptcy Proceedings.

Miss Sharp again appeared at the Bankruptcy Court morning to complete her examination. She had no opportunity of explaining why she had previously refused to pay her Income-tax — all this was done by the prosecution. She was asked if she was a writer; if she had refused to pay her tax because she was an unenfranchised woman, not because she wished to evade payment; and now that the political status of woman was assured her objection to the payment of this tax was removed? To all of these question Miss Sharp smilingly said “Yes.” The Registrar concluded the proceedings by hastily informing her that her examination was completed, and at once asked for the next case. He seemed to be quite relieved that it was all over.