Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 27, 1976 · Page 120
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version
June 27, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 120

Publication:
Location:
Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 27, 1976
Page:
Page 120
Cancel
Start Free Trial

Page 120 article text (OCR)

you be here? Plenty of water.. .great things to do.. .lots of sun... fantastic! And there's no reason in the world why having your menstrual period should keep you from enjoying it Just use Tampax tampons: the internal protection that can't chafe, show or feel bulky. In fact, once in place, a Tampax-tampon can't be felt at all. Make this the summer you start using Tampax tampons. And stay in the picture every glorious day. fix ReteiiHBTG The internal protection more women trust by Jack Anderson WASHINGTON, D.C. A mushrooming taxpayer rebellion has begun to overburden law enforcement and put a squeeze on public revenues. Sparked by a runaway 73 percent rise in taxation at all levels--federal, state and local--during the past six years, taxpayers are resorting to all sorts of strategems, both legal and illegal, to cut down their burden. Treasury Secretary William Simon admitted to us recently: 'The rate of compliance has begun to drop . . . We w are faced with an incipient taxpayers revolt." Former Internal Revenue Commissioner Johnnie Walters told a Senate committee that taxpayer resistance "could mushroom into a genuine crisis . . . The trend is frightening." Behind the rise in tax-resistance are four motivations: (1) A private selfishness that seeks to duck paying its share; (2) a public spiritedness that opposes on principle the runaway growth of government; (3) economic need, which craves relief from a taxation that now takes more of an average family's income than food, shelter or clothing, and (4) disillusionment, the feeling that politicians are-not on the level, that the government is not worthy of support, and that prominent people, from Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew on down, have paid less than their fair share. The simplest way Of all forms taken by tax resistance, the most direct and costly to the government is simple nonpayment. The Internal Revenue Service officially acknowledges that a million identifiable taxpayers are deliberately neglecting to file returns. Off the record, IRS agents say the total is closer to 5 million, with an annual revenue loss of $8 billion. James Dale Davidson of the National Taxpayers Union says the reai number of nonfilers is 1C million. Millions of others evade taxes by admitting only the income that their employers report to the government and hide additional earnings. When the IRS ran an intensive test on 104 New York City cab drivers, it found that all 104 had under-reported. All told, non- filers, income-shavers and deduction- padders escape $30 billion in taxes, or one-quarter of the amount raised by the federal income tax. The high percentage of tax-dodgers makes one thing clear: "voluntary compliance," watchword of the IRS, has esasassssssaiaaa IT ./^···^VSi BJaES As more and more Americans find their taxes too burdensome, open resistance grows and colorful protests flourish. become a myth. Were it not for the deduction of taxes before a worker gets paid, the government would not survive on anywhere near its present scale. But beyond outright evasion, a growing symptom of the revolt is the increasing number of taxpayers who say they are "tired of working for the government." The Tax Foundation points out that the average American now works more than four months of each year to pay his taxes. More and more taxpayers are arranging their lives to soften the annual bite. Thousands of big earners simply stop working for several months. Many highly -paid white-collar employees slash their payments by taking salary cuts now in return for increased pension payments later. Most bizarre is the newly discovered "divorce scam." Recent changes in the tax law have made some single-person rates lower than married-person rates. This applies especially if both husband and wife have substantial salaries. Consequently, such couples are getting divorced just before the year ends, filing single-person returns and effecting large savings. The couple then remarry, planning another annual "tax divorce." Lose money wisely The drive to avoid taxes has even made losing money attractive. Affluent city-dwellers divert income to cattle ranches they never see. They accept planned initial losses to cut taxes and pay at low capital gains rates on later profits. Similarly, strong businesses merge with failing ones so that losses cancel out profits. In the vanguard of the tax revolt are the 100,000 or more who openly refuse to pay. These resisters are divided in their ·methods but united in their claim that Uncle Sam cannot legally force the collection of income taxes. There is a Constitutional bias against it, they say, that was not overcome when the Constitution was amended in 1913 to permit a federal income tax. The least combative become specious ordained ministers by paying a small fee to some divinity-school mill. They then set up a church to which they assign all their earnings, which thereby become tax-free. The legitimacy of the arrangement cannot be challenged, they say, because the Constitution bars the government from interfering with religion. The government says setting up a church to avoid taxes is a crime. Other tax rebels refuse to fill out a return on the ground that to do so truthfully violates their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. If they complete the return untruthfully, they would perjure themselves, which the government cannot compel them to do. Sign their names If they don't send in a return, they commit the crime of failure to file. So they sign a blank return. Others rely on the Fourth Amendment to protect from seizure the personal papers the IRS needs to convict. Still others follow Rene Baxter, onetime investment counselor who now counsels tax-resisters. According to Baxter, since a federal statute defines a dollar in terms of its gold or silver content and since tax law says no one need file who has not earned at least $750 and since the dollar no longer has any redeemable gold or silver content and is merely an unsupported government IOU, then no one receives any legal income and therefore no one is required to file! Over the years the IRS has gotten convictions against resisters using all these defenses. Long-term strategy Tax-fighters, nevertheless, believe they can win the war by losing battles: As the government becomes more intrusive and coercive, public resentment will grow, they contend, and the number of resisters will multiply to the point Where the government cannot cope with them. The IRS recognizes the danger. Treasury Secretary Simon says: 'The success of our system rests upon the voluntary compliance of our taxpayers. If there were widespread abuses of the system, we could not possibly police them." With this fear in mind, the government is keeping its concern about the revolt quiet. No one in the IRS wants to encourage its spread. Nevertheless, tax resistance is a growing factor in American life. After all, it is the 200th year of a nation born in a tax revolt.

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page