How to Help the I.R.S. Give Money Back to Poor People
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is a partnership between the
various non-profits and other such groups across the country that trains
ordinary schmoes like you and me how to help people fill out their tax forms
and then sets up clinics during tax season to do that.
By doing this, the volunteers help many low-income people correctly file for
tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, that can reduce or eliminate
their tax liability or even convert it into a tax subsidy. The vast majority
of people who have their taxes filed through
receive refunds — refunds they might have failed to apply for without such
For this reason, tax resisters may want to consider joining up with the program, despite the unseemliness of collaboration with Internal Revenue.
The IRS has released a list of VITA sites if you’re interested.
No women have votes in Bermuda, the franchise in that country being based on
a land-owning qualification restricted to men. Women suffragists, however,
are active, and Mrs. J.S. [Gladys Misick] Morrell, Chairman of the Bermuda
Suffrage Society, a land-owning woman, recently refused to pay what she
considered an unjust property tax. The Overseers of the Poor, who collect
parish taxes, brought an action against her, and Mrs. Morrell put up a
spirited defence of herself in Court. The magistrate, himself a suffrage
advocate, said that under the law he had no choice in the matter, and the
creditors could proceed. On the day when Mrs. Morrell was to be sentenced to
six weeks’ imprisonment for “contempt of Court,” the Overseers abandoned
their action and obtained a levy warrant against Mrs. Morrell’s personal
property. We are confident that that is not the end of the story, and we
hope to report further stages in the woman suffrage agitation in Bermuda in
later issues of The Vote.
The suffrage campaign in Bermuda borrowed many of the features of the
successful campaigns elsewhere, including tax resistance, but was not itself
successful in winning the vote until .
Savannah, Ga., .
This city has been a scene of much excitement during
, growing out of an act of
the City Council imposing a tax of $10 per capita on the stevedores and other
laborers on the wharves here, and requiring them to wear a badge, which the
city furnished upon receipt of the tax. The laborers all — white and black — persistently refused to pay a tax regarded by them so exorbitant and unjust;
in consequence of which the Mayor ordered the Police to prevent all from
working who had not paid the tax.
This, of course, seriously interfered with the shipping interests of the
city, and the Council, finding that the laborers were not at all disposed to
yield, and that meanwhile the “strike” was damaging the business community to
the amount of thousands of dollars, and was driving all the vessels from this
to other ports, met and reduced the tax to $3. This, however, only tended to
increase the feelings of the laborers, who had resolved not to pay any tax
whatever, deeming it unjust, unconstitutional and oppressive to tax unskilled
labor, and they determined that none of their number should work, whether
they paid the tax or not.
This made it necessary for the police to protect those who had yielded and
paid the tax from the assaults of their incorrigible brethren; and
, a very crowded and active
appearance. I was in the crowd from the time the police appeared until they
and the crowd disappeared, and failed to see any act indicating violence, or
justifying the arrest of any one. The police, however, arrested several
negroes, whom they treated in the most brutal and barbarous manner — beating
them over the head so severely as to cause the blood to flow profusely. No
attempts were made to arrest any of the white men, although they were the
parties who inaugurated and controlled the strike from beginning to end.
A vast deal was said during the excitement about the d—d “Yankees” and
“niggers;” and, from all I could learn, was induced to believe that the one
is held in as high esteem by the rebels as the other.