News Tax Resisters Can Use

Some bits and pieces from here and there:

  • You can find minutes and reports from ’s NWTRCC National Gathering in Cleveland on NWTRCC’s website.
  • There is typically a statute of limitations for federal tax crimes. However, during wartime the statute of limitations for crimes “involving fraud or attempted fraud against the United States or any agency thereof in any manner, whether by conspiracy or not” goes into suspended animation “until 5 years after the termination of hostilities as proclaimed by a Presidential proclamation, with notice to Congress, or by a concurrent resolution of Congress” where the definition of “the term ‘war’ includes a specific authorization for the use of the Armed Forces, as described in section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(b)).” There are some indications that the government is seeking to suspend the statute of limitations for federal tax crimes because of the present state of war.
  • TaxProf Blog reports: “The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration yesterday reported that 372,000 taxpayers erroneously claimed education tax credits in , totaling $532 million (an average of over $1,400 improper credit per taxpayer).”
  • Those tax resisters lucky enough to be expecting a large inheritance may take heart from this story of someone who successfully engineered her will so that her heir could donate to charity exactly enough of her estate so that she would owe no estate taxes on the remainder.
  • Anti-abortion political pressure has led to Congress inserting language in the upcoming health care legislation that would prohibit taxpayer money from going to pay for abortion. Tom Tomorrow wonders when people opposed to their tax money being spent on war will get that kind of respect: Think about it: No one cares whether you want your tax dollars spent on pointless wars (“I object on moral grounds!” “So go whine about it on your blog!”) but abortion is another story entirely (“I object on moral grounds!” “And we will bend over backwards to appease you!”)
  • Another aspect of the upcoming health care legislation is that it includes a big role for the IRS. This isn’t because the IRS is particularly skilled at administering social welfare programs (indeed fraud is rampant in programs like the earned income tax credit or those education tax credits mentioned earlier in this post), but because legislators have various incentives to hide the spending behind their legislation by not spending outright but only via tax credits and deductions and such. Since increasing funding for the IRS is not politically popular, this all may have the effect of saddling the agency with more responsibility without giving it sufficient resources.
  • A type of tax protest that isn’t quite tax resistance but seems worth keeping an eye on involves married gay couples who plan on defying the federal Defense of Marriage Act by filing their tax returns as though their marriages were recognized by the federal government. Thom Winchester explains why he and his husband plan to file as “married filing jointly” next year, and why he thinks the Constitution is on his side.