Hear Me Talk Tax Resistance on Porkins Policy Review

Pearse Redmond of Porkins Policy Review had me on his show (Porkins Policy Radio) to talk about war tax resistance, how it works, what the risks are, and what sort of support is available from the war tax resistance community:

In other news…

  • A writer at the Episcopal Peace Fellowship site recently shared her thoughts after attending a war tax resistance workshop in Rochester, New York. Excerpt:

    I had the opportunity to meet with folks who have been war tax resisters since WW2 and with folks just turning the idea over in their minds. It was a powerful experience for me. I have never understood the depth of calling that moves folks to civil disobedience. In Ithaca, I am surrounded by folks that have protested for years, many have been arrested for their beliefs and some have served time for civil disobedience. This weekend I saw with an open heart and with new eyes.

  • The Boston Globe has a good article on the epidemic of identity theft and how lucrative the IRS makes it for the thieves. Excerpts:

    All told, in just , 1.6 million taxpayers were affected by identity theft, compared with 271,000 for , according to a recent audit by the Treasury Department’s inspector general. While the IRS said it discovered many of the incidents, the cumulative thefts have resulted in billions of dollars in potentially fraudulent refunds, according to an array of government reports.

    “I’ve had a police chief tell me ‘street crime is down because everybody is now filing false IRS returns,’ ” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who took office last month, said in an interview.

    While Koskinen stressed that the IRS uses a series of “filters” that are increasingly successful in catching identity thefts before refunds are paid, he acknowledged that “this problem has exploded” and that the agency is in a constant race to keep its detection techniques a step ahead of the thieves. “It is,” he said, “a little like ‘Whac-a-Mole,’ knock them down here and they come up over there.”

    “We have seen drug dealers go into this because it is easy access to money. Gangs go into this because it is easy access to money. Or at least they perceive it that way,” [U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the tax division Kathryn] Keneally said, while adding: “Please, if you quote me on saying ‘It is easy access to money,’ include: ‘We are changing that equation and we are adding risk to that.’ ”

  • To your typical amateur, the tax law can often seem like it was designed to entrap the unwary. You take some common sense step, or think you’re following the law, only to find that some obscure provision somewhere unexpected ensnares you in some subordinate clause’s cross-reference to an unfamiliar acronym. So it’s hard not to react with a hearty har-har when you hear that when the IRS itself was audited, by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the auditor found that for 39% of the money the agency paid out to its employees as relocation reimbursement it failed to record that money as taxable income as the law requires. The IRS executives who qualified for the reimbursements thought of them, naturally, as a tax-free perk — but that’s not how the law treats them.