Tax Resistance News from Around the World

Some tabs that have schlepped past my browser window in recent days:

  • The University Alliance for Democracy and Justice (Coordinadora Universitaria por la Democracia y la Justicia) in Nicaragua issued a call for increased tax resistance and a general strike (translation mine):

    In the face of the massacre by the Ortega-Murillo government of the Nicaraguan people, from the University Alliance for Democracy and Justice we call on the private sector and to Nicaraguan society in general, to strengthen their actions of tax resistance and to stand firm in the face of state violence, declaring a general strike for 48 hours or until the Ortega-Murillo government complies with the following conditions:

    1. Stop the cruel paramilitary repression in Masaya and other territories besieged by the National Guard and Sandinista Youth shock troops.
    2. Send invitations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to establish permanent missions of these organizations in our country.

    The call is to use every civic mechanism we have at our disposal to curb these criminal acts of the Ortega-Murillo government.

    We cannot live normal lives while they massacre our brothers!

  • A survey of thousands of smokers in California showed that more than a third of them had used legal methods to get around the state’s prohibitive excise tax on tobacco, and nearly one in five had used illegal techniques. And that survey was taken before a $2-per-pack hike in the tax rate took effect. “About a third of cigarettes in California are estimated to be from out-of-state (and thus tax-avoiding) sources.”
  • More tales of traffic ticket issuing camera or radar boxes being destroyed: from France & Italy; Saudi Arabia, Rhode Island, and France; and France & Italy again.
  • One of the features of the big tax law that Republicans passed last year was one that caps the tax deduction for state and local taxes. This has the effect of raising taxes on wealthier people from high-tax states. These tend to be the Democrat-leaning, wealthier, coastal states, and so this has been seen as partially a partisan poke at the Democrat’s donor base and a thumb-in-the-eye at blue states in general — increasing the amount they’re subsidizing their red cousins. But blue state lawmakers are getting creative and trying to deny the U.S. Treasury this extra tax money. Some of these workarounds would even have the effect of allowing people to deduct more than before.
  • No surprise: IT security at the IRS is a mess. Attention hacktivists: strike while the iron is hot.
  • The ranks of war tax resisters in Lleida, Catalonia have risen to about fifty. Resisters there typically redirect tax money to non-governmental organizations and then declare an equivalent tax credit on their tax returns.
  • The opposition coalition in Sri Lanka urged people to stop paying taxes if the government goes through on its plans to pay compensation to former members of the Tamil Tigers insurrection.

I got another “LT16” letter from the IRS today. It’s the same sort I got last year (“Your account has been assigned for enforcement action”). As far as I can tell it doesn’t really represent anything other than another attempt to use frightening language to try to convince me to cough up some money voluntarily.

It does include a list of all of the tax years and amounts they’re pursuing me for, which confirms that they are no longer trying to collect the amount I didn’t pay in 2007 and that has passed the ten-year statute of limitations for collections, or any of the interest and penalties they attached to that amount. This is the closest I’ve gotten to an official confirmation of that.