The latest tax resistance news to hit the web:
- Bridget J. Crawford and W. Edward Afield have a forthcoming paper in Tax Law Review in which they analyze the tax resistance of Dorothy Day. The paper has some good background and overview of her tax resistance and her reasoning behind it, but the authors seem to mostly have the perspective that Day was mistaken and if she only realized what a marvelous social service and wealth-redistribution agency the government is, she would have changed her mind.
- Speakers from NWTRCC have been spreading the word about war tax resistance. They’ll be putting on a free “War Tax Resistance 101” seminar for beginners on .
- The IRS now has its hands on the big budget boost that was recently passed, and one of its first orders of business is to try to boost its depleted and aging workforce. But that may be easier pledged than done, reports The Wall Street Journal. The current job market is tight (especially in the finance sector, where the IRS is competing), and agency wages are stagnant against a background of inflation and wage growth in the private-sector. Expedited hire authority and pay flexibility that were part of early versions of the funding bill were stripped from the final version, so the IRS must plod along as before, though with more budget to work with. In addition, some of the positions the IRS is hoping to fill are in its hollowed-out human resources department: the same people responsible for recruiting, interviewing, and training new hires.
- The founder and former owner of the outdoor recreation gear company Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, has transferred the ownership of the company to a non-profit focused on environmental causes. If he had sold the company — which is worth something like $3 billion — or if his heirs had inherited it, this would have resulted in a huge tax bill. But by giving the company entirely to a 501(c)(4) non-profit instead, he avoids those taxes. So not only was Chouinard generous to environmental causes, he also was able to avoid funding the environmental wrecking ball of the U.S. government.
- The U.S. federal government is seeing a surge in tax revenue. Federal tax collections as a percentage of gross domestic product are higher than they’ve been since World War Ⅱ. The largest component of this recent increase is from personal income taxes. In part this is because wages are rising due to inflation and employer competition for labor.
- There was an evacuation and large-scale police response at an IRS building in Memphis, Tennessee in response to reports of an “active shooter” in the building. Those reports were later labeled “misinformation.” This begins to look like it may have been a case of “swatting” — the use of false, anonymous reports of violent crime in progress to provoke a militarized police response against some target. I’ve reported on a number of garden-variety bomb threats and “suspicious powder”-style incidents at IRS buildings in the past, but this is the first swatting I’m aware of.
- The human war against the plodding but relentless traffic ticket radar robots continues. Machines were sabotaged in Hawaii, smashed in Germany, painted blind in France, knocked over in Belgium, shot and cut down in Italy, toppled in Italy, and burned in Germany in recent weeks.
- I continue to be impressed at how tax resistance seems to be just part of how politics works in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The latest example comes from a rally by small businesspeople in Butembo, North Kivu who are protesting heavy-handed tax enforcement there.