An associate university professor has announced his refusal to pay federal income taxes in an act of civil disobedience against President Donald Trump and his administration.
Andrew Newman, 48, professor of English and history at Stony Brook University on Long Island in New York, claims that he will pay his city and state taxes, but he plans to peacefully protest by not paying the federal government.
At issue is the fact that Newman’s 2016 taxes have already been automatically deducted from his 2016 pay. This year he intends to write to the government, accuse the Trump administration of planned misuse of public funds, and revise his withholdings for 2017. When he receives a bill from the Internal Revenue Service next year, he plans not to pay it, instead donating the money to causes he deems more socially responsible.
“My tax money will be going towards putting up a wall on the Mexican border instead of helping sick people,” Newman said. “It will contribute to the destruction of the environment and maybe more nuclear weapons. I think there will be a redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy elite and Trump’s campaign for the working man and woman was an absolute fraud. If you pay taxes you are implicated in the system.”
“The government wants our money and if a lot of people were thinking about this kind of peaceful protest, it would get their attention,” Newman added.
Newman is not alone. A nascent movement is underway to revive the popularity of tax resistance. “I’ve been discussing this with friends and colleagues and they are extremely interested,” he said. “People are very responsive but they also say ‘I don’t want to go to jail.’”
It is far more likely that Newman would only be fined and charged interest on the unpaid taxes by the IRS.
“There have been very few people who have spent time in jail for not paying taxes as an explicit act of political resistance,” claims Ruth Benn, coordinator of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, a campaign group that encourages federal tax boycotts in the name of peace and advises interested citizens.
Anti-Trump rallies are being planned nationwide for April 15, which is normally tax day, although in 2017 returns are due on April 18.
H/T: The Guardian
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