"What would you do if someone came to your door with a cup in hand asking for a contribution to help buy guns to kill a group of people they didn't like?" — Wally Nelson [Wallace Floyd Nelson (27 March 1909 – 23 May 2002) was an American civil rights activist and war tax resister]|
Nat'l War Tax Resistance Newsletter April-May 2017 Openly denying the government taxes for war, despite threats and possible consequences
After some workshops recently, it seemed that people were going home with the understanding they could change the allowances on their W-4 to stop all withholding and that doing so is legal. This is probably a confusion when workshop leaders say a little too casually that this is low risk and the IRS hasn’t applied fines in years. An increase in this form of resistance may spark an IRS crackdown, so it is important to refer people to our literature or website information on W-4 resistance. The IRS can assess a $500 civil penalty for a false W-4, and there is also the potential of criminal penalties of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for “willfully supplying false or fraudulent information” on a W-4 form to decrease the amount of withholding. In recent years the one repercussion we have seen is that the IRS sends a “lock-in letter” to employers that changes the allowances to 1 unless the individual proves to the IRS’s satisfaction that more than 1 allowance fits their circumstances.
In a nod to Kellyanne Conway, a twitter user posted a picture of Monopoly money with his protest: “I’m going to pay for my taxes this year with alternative cash.”
A tax rebellion has happened in British history before, when the people who paid tax withheld it from the government until that government agreed to their demands. The demands were agreed to, and they are known as the Magna Carta.
A tax rebellion also brought about the founding of the United States of America, the end of the Vietnam War and the demise of the poll tax. If you take the fuel out of the system – ie, the money – governments are powerless.
But is a tax rebellion legal?
Yes. The reason a tax rebellion is absolutely legal is precisely because of our wars of aggression. Under the laws of war, every citizen is forbidden from taking part in war on the side of the aggressor. This means you are legally bound to disobey the orders of any governments that support or take part in an illegal war.
It’s about personal responsibility.
In short, our government’s illegal wars of aggression provide the legal basis for the tax rebellion – although the protest is about so much more. It’s about creating a system where every individual is engaged, useful, contributing and passionate. Where everyone matters, and no one is a cog in a machine, unthinkingly keeping our heads down.
But are our wars illegal?
How do we withhold our taxes?
The legal way of doing it is through an escrow account. This is something that exists in law for when two parties are in dispute.
You pay your taxes, lawfully, into an escrow account. By doing this, you are fulfilling your legal duty to pay tax, but you are also fulfilling your legal duty to make sure it’s not spent on illegal activities. The money is only released from the escrow account when the government has withdrawn the troops and agreed to our other demands for a better society.
At the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal it was stated that ‘individuals have international duties’ which transcend allegiance to their individual nation state. This makes it clear that each citizen has a responsibility to ensure their own personal conduct does not breach international law which overrides the laws of their own governments.
the Nuremberg Principles, principle six of which clearly defines the crimes which are ‘punishable under international law’: crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. These joined the offence of genocide as the world’s worst crimes.
1998 the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Article 25 of the Rome Statute states that a person is criminally liable who ‘aids, abets or assists’ in the commission of such a crime ‘including providing the means for its commission.’
New Site for tax rebellion: Make Wars History In law it is widely accepted throughout the world that if you become aware of, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that an organisation or person is involved in criminal activity, and yet you continue to fund and support said organisation or person, then you are guilty of committing a crime by association – commonly known as an ‘accessory’ or ‘abettor’ and committing an ‘ancillary offence’.
How to pay taxes (NOT!) like 'ald Trump Four tips for “smart” taxpayers
First, start a side business and sock away every dollar you can in a retirement plan. The best part is that you and your spouse can each put away $18,000 ($24,000 if age 55 plus), even if that soaks up all the profits from your business. Above that, you can put away every fifth dollar your business earns.
You can also make an employer contribution (that’s you) to your employee (that’s you) and the employee’s spouse. Use all the gimmicks and you can put away more than $100,000, although you’ll need a roughly quarter-million-dollar profit to do it.
Second, enjoy the “benefits of ownership” of your business. Taking a flight for your business? Pay for first class, because the whole ticket is deductible. Buy a new computer or office furniture and write off everything up to $500,000 under Section 179.
Third, you can put your kids or grandkids on your payroll for up to $6,300 and no income tax is due thanks to the floor on taxable income and the standard deduction. If the child is under 18 you do not have to pay the Social Security and Medicare tax, either.
Fourth — and I know this sounds sleazy — your kids can legally give you back the money tax-free.
Now if your only income is from wages and salary, well, sorry.
Except for retirement savings and the small minority of Americans who qualify to deduct mortgage interest (20 percent in 2014) and property taxes, you not only have to pay income and payroll taxes, but the money comes out before you get your check.
But hey, somebody has to pay to make America great again.
Tax Resistance Opposition to war has led some, such as Ammon Hennacy and Ellen Thomas, to a form of tax resistance in which they reduce their income below the tax threshold by taking up a simple living lifestyle. These individuals believe that their government is engaged in immoral, unethical or destructive activities such as war, and paying taxes inevitably funds these activities.
Some tax resisters refuse to pay all or a portion of the taxes due, but then make an equivalent 'ation to charity. In this way, they demonstrate that the intent of their resistance is not selfish and that they want to use a portion of their earnings to contribute to the common good.
For instance, Julia Butterfly Hill resisted about $150,000 in federal taxes, and 'ated that money to after school programs, arts and cultural programs, community gardens, programs for Native Americans, alternatives to incarceration, and environmental protection programs. She said:
I actually take the money that the IRS says goes to them and I give it to the places where our taxes should be going. And in my letter to the IRS I said: "I'm not refusing to pay my taxes. I'm actually paying them but I'm paying them where they belong because you refuse to do so."
Groups like the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (United States), Peace Tax Seven (United Kingdom), Netzwerk Friedenssteuer (de) (Germany), and Conscience and Peace Tax International are working to legalize a form of conscientious objection to military taxation which would enable conscientious objectors to designate their taxes to be spent only on non-military budget items. They see this as a legalized form of war tax redirection.
Dear Friends at the IRS The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the use of drones have NOT increased our security, but have created more enemies of the United States in both countries, in Pakistan and around the world. Lets end the war on terror and bring the tax dollars home to meet the needs of the American people.
Robert Reich: 3 Biggest Myths Blinding Us to Economic Truth The “job creators” are CEOs, corporations and the rich, whose taxes must be low in order to induce them to create more jobs... The critical choice is between the “free market” or “government.”... We should worry most about the size of government
"Isn't tax relief the natural way to talk about taxes? I'm a progressive, but I have to admit, they do seem burdensome sometimes.
"Homework in school is burdensome too, but you have to do it if you're gong to learen anything. Exercise is burdensome, but you have to do it if you're going to be in good physical shape. Taxes are necessary if we are going to make wise investments in our national infrastructure that will pay off for all of us years and years in the future. That includes investments in things like education and health care for those who can't afford it. Education and health care are investments in people. They are wise investments because they give us an educated citizenry, an educated workforce, and a healthy and efficient workforce. Those are the practical reasons for taxes. Other reasons for taxes are public services--like police and fire, disaster relief, and so on.
"Those are the practical reasons for taxes, but there are moral reasons as well. Education and health are important factors in fulfillment in life, and this country is about fulfillment in life. There is a reason why the Declaration of Independence talks about the pursuit of happiness and links it to liberty. The reason is that they go together. Without liberty, there can be no fulfillment in life. Thus there are practical reasons why it makes sense to understand taxation as investment, and there are moral reasons to understand taxation as paying your dues in a country where you can pursue happiness because there is liberty and freedom" (108).
"[Radical right] tax cuts are not about tax cuts... They are about getting rid of all social programs and regulations of business. Vouchers and school testing are not ultimately about vouchers and school testing; they are about conservative control of the content of education... )George Lakoff. ''t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: 108).
www.rockridgeinstitute.org... "frame shifting. Example: A tax cut proponent says, We should get rid of taxes. People know how to spend their money better than the government. Reframe: The government has made very wise investments with taxpayer money. Our interstate highway system, for example. You couldn't build a highway with your tax refund. The government built them. Or the Internet, paid for by taxpayer investment. You could not make your own Internet. Most of our scientific advances have been made through funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health--great government investments of taxpayer money. No matter how wisely you spent your own money, you'd never get those scientific and medical breakthroughs. And how far would you get hiring your own army with your tax refund?" (George Lakoff. ''t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: 117-118).
"My favorite authority on taxes is David Cay Johnston of The New York Times, who won a Pulitzer for reporting on the terminally unsexy topic of taxes. His book, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super-Rich--And Cheat Everyone Else, is the single best work on public policy okf recent years, I think...
"The rest of us are subsidizing not only the super-rich, but also corporations. Fifty years ago, corporations paid 60 percent of all federal taxees. But by 2003, that was down to 16 percent. So individual taxpayers have to make up the difference, as corporate profits soar and wages fall.
"As more and more rich people cheat on their taxes, the IRS is increasingly unable to go after them because it is so poorly funded.
"For all this, we can thank the Republican Party...
"We ''t need to raise taxes in this country, we need to collect them...
"On March 30, Congress was told that 78 percent of known tax cheats in investment partnerships are not even asked to pay because there are not enough tax collectors to go after them.
"The IRS oversight board asked for money to go after these cheaters, but both Congress and President Bush refused...
"The Senate budget currently under consideration includes $129 billion in new tax breaks for millionaires and a $2.8 billion cut in farm and nutrition programs (i.e., food stamps)...
"As economist John Kenneth Galbraith put it, "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness"" (Molly Ivins. "Subsidizing Selfishness." Texas Observer, April 29, 2005: 14).
Here’s a good corporate tax rate: ZeroBy Megan McArdle July 31, 2018
about 40 percent of multinational profits, according to a recent economic paper, are sequestered in various tax havens.
To anyone who draws a salary and thus can’t reincorporate in Bermuda to avoid payroll taxes, this corporate tax avoidance might seem outrageous. Governments just need to get really tough, right? The problem is that rich-world governments already are, broadly speaking, pretty tough on large corporations — at least if “tough” means “deploying armies of tax collectors to extract every penny the companies legally owe.”
And trying to force companies to disgorge even more in taxes is an expensive proposition for both companies and the public. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimates that the labor involved in preparing corporate tax returns takes $150 billion out of the U.S. economy annually. And that doesn’t count the distortions that the corporate tax code introduces, as companies try to structure operations to lower their tax burden even if that doesn’t make the most business sense. Nor does it include the time and money spent lobbying Congress for a more favorable tax code.
All this is very frustrating. Here’s a solution: Eliminate the corporate income tax. Or lower it to some token rate, such as 1 percent, that wouldn’t be worth the effort to avoid.
the truth is that they have never paid tax — no, not even when rates were higher and IRS agents meaner. Those who insist that companies pay their “fair share,” just as wealthy people should pay their “fair share,” misunderstand what corporations are. They’re imagining a corporation as something like a really rich person. But a corporation is just a legal fiction that temporarily holds money ultimately destined for real people. And it’s those people — shareholders, employees, customers — who end up paying any tax levied on a corporation.
Unfortunately, you can’t pick the people who will pay. Sure, a heavy corporate income tax on Walmart will cost the Walton family some money. But it will also cost retirees whose pension fund invested in the company … and people who work in Walmart stores … and people who shop there. The corporate income tax is at least somewhat progressive, but it’s probably not as progressive as its boosters imagine.
The thing is, we already have an excellent tool for taxing rich people who own stock or manage companies: the personal income tax. Yes, people do also try to avoid paying their personal taxes — but these efforts are actually aided by the corporate income tax. That’s because high corporate taxes create a problem: Government ends up taxing the same income twice, once when the corporation earns it and again when it’s paid to individuals as dividends or capital gains. To keep the combined tax rate from getting too high, and thus discouraging savings and investment, the government created a special low, flat rate for dividends and capital gains. High earners, aiming to lower their tax rate, respond by taking as much of their compensation as possible in the form of dividends or capital gains.
Why not devise a compromise package to reduce the inefficiencies created by the corporate tax code and actually make the code more progressive? Lower the corporate income tax to a token amount, just enough to generate the records the Internal Revenue Service uses to keep wealthy business owners from declaring personal consumption as business expenses. But also eliminate the special treatment for capital income, so that the wealthy no longer benefit from taking income in the form of capital gains and dividends. And if this arrangement turns out to cost the Treasury Department money, then nudge the top rate up to compensate.
We’d have a more progressive tax code, a more attractive environment for businesses making location decisions and, best of all, a horde of unemployed lobbyists and tax specialists forced to pursue a more productive line of work. Which seems infinitely better for everyone than pouring more effort into an unwinnable tax war.
Colby Glass, MLIS