Symbolic Pay-Under-Protest Tax Actions Unpleasantly Petulant

The IRS confirmed earlier independent estimates that the standard deduction will rise from $4,750 to $4,850 for single folk, and from $9,500 to $9,700 for married folk filing together. The personal exemption will rise from $3,050 to $3,100.

Two Liverpool doctors handed blood-stained cheques to the Inland Revenue after a long-running protest against the Iraq war. Dr. Janet Price and Dr. Elisabeth Davidson refused to pay their tax on the grounds that they believe 10pc of the money taken from their earnings by the Government is used to fund military action.

They gathered with a band of supporters at the Victoria monument in Derby Square, Liverpool, to hand out leaflets before taking their oversized blood-stained cheques to the Inland Revenue office on James Street. As they have now been threatened with the courts, both doctors finally decided to pay the outstanding amount, but not without their protest.…

Dr. Davidson added: “We intend to do exactly the same if the Government is still spending the same amount on military action. We will take it as far as being threatened with legal action.…”

And this is why I prefer not to do either the martyrdom-via-illegal-tax-evasion method of tax resistance or the symbolic-pay-under-protest method. They’re too muddled. Here you have two people who have taken a stand to start paying less for what they oppose, until the government tells them to stop, in which case they’ll be petulant about it and cover their checks with blood while they cover their arses and cover the remainder of the bill. And they’ll do it again next year if they have to, dammit! Meanwhile, the government double-checks the numbers on the oversized blood-stained checks, shrugs its leviathan shoulders, and gets on with its business.

To be less of a bastard about it, I should admit that it may not be as easy to get out of taxes in the mother country as it is in the US, so symbolic protest may be the best some folks can do. But I post this as a warning to my fellow Americans: Don’t try this at home, kids. Or if you do, only do so after thinking over questions like “what will I do if the IRS comes after me?” and “what am I really trying to accomplish?”