Talk:Tax protester history in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Taxation (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Taxation, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of tax-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

This article has comments here.

Mission[edit]

The mission of the article is to focus on protest --not the details of tax cases and not routine tax avoiders-who-get-caught. If there is no strong evidence of explicit protest then the case probably does not qualify. Rjensen (talk) 13:25, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Dear Rjensen: No, the material you added is tangential in that it relates primarily to tax resisters, not tax protesters as that term is used in the article. Famspear (talk) 00:08, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
This article, and the related Wikipedia articles, are not about "tax protesters" in the sense of the tax resisters of the Whiskey Rebellion, etc. This article is about tax protesters as that term is used, by the courts and legal commentators, to describe a phenomenon which arose in the late 1960s and 1970s to describe people who make legally frivolous arguments about the validity or nature of federal taxes -- in particular, federal income taxes. Tommy Cryer and Sherry Jackson are examples of well-known tax protesters as that term is used.
However, perhaps the article could be expanded to include discussion of the history of tax resisters. I offer no opinion pro or con on that at this time. I just want to explain what I understand the current scope of the article to be. Famspear (talk) 00:13, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
we can't limit a history article to events of the last 50 years and ignore the main story. People still today remember the Boston tea party. The definition tax protester, in the United States, is a person who denies that he or she owes a tax based on the belief that the constitution, statutes, or regulations do not empower the government to impose, assess or collect the tax. covers the Stamp Act and many other early protests. Rjensen (talk) 00:22, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, why don't you add your material without deleting the references to Cryer and Jackson? That way, the article is expanded. Famspear (talk) 00:23, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

I went ahead and put your material back in. Since the article already had some of that kind of material, I guess expanding it is a good idea. Famspear (talk) 00:28, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

good-- but what makes Cryer and Jackson protesters? aren't they just evaders who acted in secret (unlike protesters who protest publicly)? Rjensen (talk) 00:29, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Dear Rjensen: Cryer and Jackson are classic cases of tax protesters as that term is used in the modern legal sense. First of all, I'm not sure that Cryer and Jackson were very "secretive" (although I should point out that some tax protesters -- in the modern legal sense of the term -- do it quite openly while others do it secretly). The key is that they make legally frivolous arguments. I realize that this distinction is not made clear in the definition provided in the article.

Second, what makes a tax protester a tax protester (in the narrow, modern legal sense) is that he or she makes an argument (denominated by the courts or legal commentators) as a tax protester argument -- OR, that he or she files tax returns in a way that is BASED on a tax protester argument (whether he or she expressly states that argument or not -- in this regard, see 26 USC section 6702). These kinds of arguments are very easy for legal experts (who study the actual texts of thousands and thousands of court cases) to spot.

The other thing that occurs to me is that the article Tax protester (United States), which is sort of the "lead" Wikipedia article on the topic "tax protester" (again, as that term is used in the more narrow, modern legal sense) has a section on history that explains the various different meanings of the term -- before going on to narrow its scope to the use of the term in the narrow, modern legal sense. All the other "tax protester" articles in Wikipedia discuss that term in the narrow sense in which I'm talking about. So, I guess this article on History could be the proper place to expand the treatment to include tax protesters in the sense of tax resisters of all kinds -- which is what I assume you're talking about.

Admittedly, the current definition in the article is a bit ambiguous, in that the term "tax protester" as used by the courts and legal commentators to describe the "modern" phenomenon really relates to those people who make legally frivolous arguments (such as Cryer and Jackson). This isn't really simply people who cheated on their taxes and got caught.

Anyway, I guess I agree with what I see as the thrust of your argument, which is that this article would be the place for expansion to include the history of both tax protesters (in the modern legal sense) and tax resisters (which is really what you're talking about) going back to the 1700s, etc. Thanks. Famspear (talk) 00:51, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Missing tax avoider[edit]

There was a notable tax avoider during the 60s who should be mentioned, but I don't remember his name. He took a novel and very principled route to avoid contributing to the Vietnam war. He avoided taxes by avoiding making money. He lived off the land, bartered for goods, and basically lived a life of poverty in order to keep his income below the threshold that would require taxation. I'm trying to learn his name. If anybody knows who I'm talking about, please let me know. He may have been connect to a 1 or 2 term pacifist congressman. I'm not sure if he was the congressman or if it was his father, but my memory is fuzzy on this point. While his actions were perfectly legal, it was all done in protest against war. —MiguelMunoz (talk) 18:52, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

I think you're right that he's notable, but wrong in that it's not related to "tax protesters" as currently perceived. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Inconsistent implication in language[edit]

It appears to me that referencing newly legislated British taxes as 'illegal taxes' but not post-independence taxes is inconsistent and implies that there was some wrong-doing on the part of the British that did not occur post-independence. This is plainly wrong and I would suggest that 'illegal taxes' be replaced with 'increased taxes' or 'newly implemented taxes'.

Reference to British Taxes
"The first wave of protests attacked the Stamp Act of 1765, and marked the first time Americans from each of the 13 colonies met together and planned a common front against illegal taxes"

References to Post-Independence Taxes
"In 1794, settlers in western Pennsylvania responded to a federal tax on liquor with the Whiskey Rebellion"
"The Civil War saw the enactment of the first federal income tax"
"Anger at the Tariff of 1828 led South Carolina to reject the federal law"
— Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.239.15.101 (talk) 19:13, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I deleted the word "illegal." The colonists (or at least many of them) contended that the taxes were illegal; the British (or many of them) contended the taxes were legal. Famspear (talk) 22:13, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Can't we just say, then, that they were protesting against taxes they considered to be illegal? bd2412 T 22:20, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, and I have changed it. Famspear (talk) 18:09, 31 January 2014 (UTC)