Texas Women Refuse to Pay Social Security Tax for Household Help

Here is a little more data on the “Texas housewives’ rebellion” against paying social security taxes on the wages of their household help, first from a United Press dispatch:

Texas Women Refuse to Pay Social Security

Eleven Texas housewives told Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder to quit trying to get them to collect Social Security taxes from their servants.

They indicated they would stick by their guns even if it meant a court test.

The women sent a letter to Mr. Snyder curtly requesting him to stop sending tax agents to their homes.

Their spokesman, Mrs. Carolyn M. Abney, said they don’t intend to become “tax collectors without compensation” and consider their refusal a “petition a just grievance.”

All 11 involved Social Security returns on their domestic employes as required under the new statute, but balked on paying the bill.

On , a pair of agents from the Internal Revenue Office called to present each with a letter, urging payment of the tax in order that “compulsion” would not be necessary.

The 11 payments ranged from $1.63 to $4.58. But, said Mrs. Abney, “it’s not the money, it’s the principle. That law is unconstitutional.” None have paid.

Mrs. Abney said the agents were “very courteous” to the women but charged they made “intimidating and frightening” remarks to the servants involved.

In one case a Negro maid was told “your good white folks must not think much of you if they wont pay this tax,” she said.

The women said they don’t want “any color line” drawn.

In their letter to Mr. Snyder, the housewives suggested use of the U.S. mails for future communications in the controversy, saying it would be faster and cheaper than sending agents to call.

They said their decision to fight the new law was reached after “long and prayerful consideration.”

“We have in good conscience petitioned our government on a just grievance,” they said.

One of the protesting women lost her maid simply by requesting her Social Security number, Mrs. Abney said, and “most of the domestic employes don’t want it.”

And then, :

Kitchen Rebellion

Housewives Refuse To Pay Security Tax

Treasury agents came back to Marshall to extract more money from bank accounts of housewives who refuse to pay Social Security taxes on servant’s wages.

But some of the rebellious housewives have so far been overlooked, and they are puzzled.

“I can’t understand it,” said Mrs. Mary V. Hicks. “Why, I have a personal account in one of the banks, and there’s enough money in it to pay the tax and penalty and leave six cents.”

As a new treasury agent, Gus W. Davis of nearby Longview, served additional seizure warrants, the housewives’ spokesman made these announcements:

1. The housewives did not withdraw their deposits. (When treasury agents moved in and served seizure warrants against bank accounts, it appeared several accounts had been withdrawn.)

“There was enough money to cover every warrant issued,” declared Mrs. Carolyn Abney, spokesman for the housewives. “The accounts must just have been overlooked.” A bank spokesman said this could have happened in the confusion of the treasury agents’ visit.

2. There are only 13 women — that she knows of — who are refusing to pay the taxes, said Mrs. Abney.

Davis levied against the account of Mrs. Zach Abney Sr., for $4.14 and against the account of Mrs. J.C. Quinn for $4.08. This brought the Internal Revenue Bureau’s take in two days to $44.23 from ten bank accounts.

The housewives say that they will ask the Internal Revenue Bureau to give their money back.

The Texas Housewives lost their first court case in , and in they lost a Supreme Court appeal. At first, the women remained defiant and continued to refuse to pay, claiming that the Supreme Court had not really answered the Constitutional question but had only verified the interpretation of the tax statute. They eventually caved in and began to pay the required quarterly taxes.