Here are some items of note that have come to my attention in recent weeks:
- I wondered if this might happen: One of the weirder aspects of Obamacare is that the individual health insurance mandate is to be enforced by adding a penalty to the income tax of any individual who fails to get health insurance — but for public relations reasons the IRS is forbidden to use its usual methods of liens, levies, seizures, and the like to chase down this penalty if the taxpayer refuses to pay it. So now, Obamacare foes are starting to whisper about this cheap-and-easy civil disobedience opportunity. Though “whisper” isn’t really the right word when you’re talking about Rush Limbaugh.
- Are Cryptocurrencies [like Bitcoin] “Super” Tax Havens? asks Omri Y. Marian of the University of Florida. Marian concludes: “Significantly, cryptocurrencies possess all the traditional characteristics that tax havens do; Earnings are not subject to taxation, and taxpayers’ anonymity is maintained.… Thus, cryptocurrencies have the potential of defeating the recent successes of governments in battling offshore tax evasion.… while governments have paid some attention to this issue, they have so far failed to identify the acuteness of the potential problem.”
- Among the things the so-called government “shutdown” brought us was a halt in almost all IRS levies and liens for the duration. The agency had plenty on its plate before the shutdown, and now it’s already behind in regearing for tax season.
- Lonnie Valentine examines the war tax resistance of John Woolman at Earlham School of Religion’s Learning and Leading blog.
- Lawrence Rosenwald looks at war tax resistance in a Jewish context at NWTRCC’s War Tax Talk blog.
- France enacted a populist measure to throw a 75% marginal tax on incomes above €1 million. Professional soccer teams, whose players may earn large annual incomes but usually over a short viable career, have decided to protest by going on temporary strike, effectively eliminating a round of matches this year — the first time teams have done anything of this sort .