The Origins of the Mythical “Black Tax Credit”

Here’s a follow-up to a Picket Line post from about the “black tax credit.” This is mostly interesting from the historical and folkloric angle, but I thought I’d mention it here.

Jonathan Turley traced this tax credit legend back to an article in Essence magazine  — an article Turley suggests was irresponsibly advocating tax fraud.

That article’s author responds in ’s Washington Post:

I concluded [my Essence] commentary with what I considered a sardonic observation: “Since de facto racial discrimination continues to function as a hidden Black tax, it ought to be deductible. So when income-tax time rolls around, on line 59 of form 1040 — which asks you to list ‘other payments’ — simply enter $43,209 in ‘Black taxes’ and compute accordingly.”

Nonetheless, Turley, in a rabid urge to distort, writes, “Readers could claim this amount, she advised…” (In Turley’s world, a tongue-in-cheek comment is equivalent to sage advice.) That my words could produce, in his words, “a cottage industry of charlatans and crooks pushing the promise of a ‘black tax’” is covered by the law of unintended consequences.