Benjamin Franklin so famously wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” That really has not changed since 1789. This year, taxes will once again be due, and you are once again responsible for paying your share.
Some groups have formed and decided that withholding their taxes is a way to protest Trump’s policies and his refusal to release his returns. The main policies they oppose include the wall, environmental concerns, and nuclear expansion. Mia Farrow and Gloria Steinem are supporting this resistance, with Steinem reliving her protests of 1968 and the Vietnam War. She told the Guardian that she’s “going to do this again by sending what I think should go to Planned Parenthood, deducting it from my Federal IRS return, and including a letter saying so.”
In addition, a group is discussing a more formalized non-tax payment in California if Trump cuts funding to Sanctuary Cities (Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco).
This is not a good idea. Unless you are wealthy enough to afford excellent attorneys or to pay high fees and interest once you do pay the money (which you will eventually), this is a pointless protest. The IRS does not care why you are angry or upset; they will not report to the President that you have not paid. They are also far too understaffed to read a bunch of protest letters. And there is always the possibility, while admittedly low, that you could go to jail. So trust me on this one. Do NOT skip out on filing your taxes, and especially do NOT change your withholdings to zero next year, because you do not like the president. Just don’t.
If you want to make a point and be visible with it, participate in one of the many marches being scheduled for Tax Day.
The Tax March is scheduled across sixty cities for April 15th. The groups involved in organizing it are:
- Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution
- Indivisible Project
- Americans For Tax Fairness
- Center for Popular Democracy
- American Federation of Teachers
- Leaders from the women’s march
According to Buzzfeed, the Tax March will be based in Washington; satellite marches are planned in cities ranging from New York and Los Angeles to Little Rock, Ark., and Boise, Idaho. The main goal is to prove that the people do care about Trump releasing his taxes, but also stated is questions about the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.
“Until we see his taxes we don’t know how much money he owes Russia, China, and other countries,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org.
I personally realize April 15th is on a Saturday, which means tax day is technically the 17th; my assumption is the organizers felt they would get a much better turnout on a Saturday; and it is possible they preferred to keep with the traditional date as well. There are other marches scheduled around the same time, including the Science March, which is April 22, also Earth Day.