IT'S TAX TIME: IS IT TIME TO OCCUPY THE IRS?
By Danny Schechter, Author of The Crime of Our Time
Every year I trek down to a nondescript office building near Wall Street with a bag full of receipts and a belly full of anxiety.
When it's tax time, I always hope for the best but". I also had an accountant who I trusted to keep me on the up and up. He was recommended years earlier by the Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman, who wanted to avoid the Al Capone problem.
Abbie had been busted enough for his political activities and didn't want more jail time for non-payment of taxes. So he had to be like the driven snow to withstand any audit. And he was. He was a revolutionary who held his nose and paid the man.
Back in the day, the government used IRS investigations to threaten political activists and intimidate activists that paid their taxes as opposed to those who became tax resisters to refuse to pay for wars. They prosecuted them or seized their property.
Those war tax resisters seemed to always get special attention from the IRS enforcement division that wanted to make an example of a few often religious people challenging the people fronting for a "Defense" budget that never stopped growing, and has had little to do with real defense.,
I admire their bravery and defiance but haven't had the guts to join them.
In some countries, tax defiance is growing against new taxes imposed in the aftermath of repugnant cutbacks in the name of austerity.
The New York Times reports from Ireland that there's a massive boycott underway of a new property tax: "Anti-austerity protesters are claiming victory after the government acknowledged that around 50 percent of Ireland 's estimated 1.6 million homeowners failed to pay a new, flat-rate $133 property tax by the March 31 deadlines."
Today, especially thanks to Occupy Wall Street, we know how economic inequality had grown while the people with the most money in society work the hardest not to not pay their fair share. They have been resisting for years, "legally" they claim.
Those armed with lobbyists and pricey tax firms have never seen a deduction they don't like or a sleazy maneuver they wouldn't try.
As Chuck Collins writes in his new book 99-1: "In 2010, 25 of the 100 largest U.S. companies paid their CEO more than they paid in U.S. taxes. This is largely because corporations in the global 1 percent use off shore tax havens to dodge their U.S. taxes."
The "experts" who have looked at the taxes we pay look away with disgust. This is from Ezra Klein's Blog in the Washington Post:
" Bruce Bartlett and Kevin Drum point to a striking table in the 2012 Economic Report of the President pdf showing that there's a huge variation in what people of similar income levels actually pay in federal taxes: