Tax Resistance News of Interest

Some recent links of note:

  • NWTRCC kicked off this year’s federal tax filing season with a panel consisting of the experienced war tax resisters Kathy Kelly, Sam Yerger, Erica Leigh, Charlie Hurst, and Maria Smith, who explained their approaches to resistance and took questions from a live audience. You can view a video of the panel and the Q&A here.
  • The IRS has officially delayed the start of , and is begging filers to file electronically rather than by using old-fashioned paper returns, since the agency still hasn’t processed 40% of the paper returns it received last year!
  • Bars and restaurants in Cesena, Italy, who have been suffering through pandemic closures, launched a tax strike and publicized their protest by symbolically opening their establishments and having their staff wait on empty tables.
  • You may remember that there were lots of empty threats to refuse to pay taxes to the Trump administration four years ago. Now it’s time for empty tax resistance threats from the Trumperists. Mel Magazine has collected several, and compares them with other examples of tax resistance and tax protest from American history. At American Greatness, Trumperist contributor Dan Gelernter advocates mass tax resistance against the Biden administration, but wants somebody else to lead it first and somehow make it safe and easy:

    [S]uppose… that the governor of a state like Texas or Florida were to say: Citizens of this state should not pay federal taxes this year, and our state will indemnify its citizens against federal prosecution. In other words, the state would assume the federal tax bill for its own citizens, and declare it null and void.

    Meanwhile, one of the more unhinged Trumperists decided it would be a good idea to publicly tweet an increasingly violent series of fantasies including threatening the life of a traffic cop, killing Nancy Pelosi, running over “a million people” in a speeding car, and… bombing the IRS headquarters. That last bit got him indicted on federal charges.
  • TIGTA has released another report on the federal government’s use of private debt collection companies to pursue unpaid taxes. The report says that the companies recovered a mere 1.79% of the unpaid taxes they were assigned, and that more than a third of the money collected went to cover costs and profit for the private companies, with the remainder going to the Treasury.
  • The National Taxpayer Advocate also released its report recently. It highlights some of the many problems the IRS had to cope with and/or exacerbate during the year of pandemic shutdowns and greater-than-usual government dysfunction. For example: Taxpayers got misleading tax notices that included deadlines to respond that had already passed by the time the notice was sent. People who tried to call the IRS were able to get through to an agency employee less than 25% of the time. Taxpayer records are processed on “the oldest major IT systems in the federal government,” but Congress has appropriated only about 8¼% of the estimated cost of updating them.
  • Hey, what do you know? Another tax strike is brewing in South Kivu. This strike, which is scheduled to start in , is meant to pressure the government to repair roads and bridges in the region.