At NWTRCC gatherings, we always have cards on a back table so attendees can write notes of support to those who are facing garnishment or some other type of IRS action. At our last NWTRCC meeting in May, we mainly signed cards for those regular attendees that could not come due to ill health or difficulties traveling. Regarding IRS action, we only knew of folks having their social security payments garnished—mostly at 15%.
The last couple years, when I’ve spoken to groups about war tax resistance, I’ve mentioned the relatively low risk of collection, although every case is different. Until earlier this year, I had been a wage employee since 2004 without a single garnishment. (I always remind groups that this could change at any time.)
Then, near the end of July, I learned of some notable IRS actions against resisters. These came after I had written the counseling notes for the August/September newsletter, so I decided to share them here.
- As we noted in the newsletter, the IRS may inform the State Department not to renew the passport of those with a tax debt of over $51,000. Those with a high tax debt may even have their passport revoked. At the end of July, a US citizen living abroad contacted NWTRCC. He received a notice from the IRS that they had notified the State Department not to renew his passport. As his passport does not need to be renewed for a few years and since he did not receive notice of any impending revocation, he is taking the wait-and-see approach. I did not get the impression that he was a war tax resister (WTR), but his notice could be a forewarning of actions to come. It also informs us that the IRS will probably notify us when they alert the State Department that someone’s passport should not be renewed.
- Almost immediately afterward, we learned that a longtime WTR had received a summons to report to his local IRS office during the first week of August. He also shared that he had recently had garnishment attempts on his wages, but since his income was too low, nothing was garnished. He appeared for the summons in early August, but when he tried to record the meeting, they sent him home. (It appears that a newer IRS protocol requires that the summoned request in writing to record the meeting ten days in advance).
- Lastly, following our reporting of two WTRs having their back taxes assigned to a private collection agency, we received notice of a third WTR experiencing this. (More on private collection agencies, with links, in the second half of this blog post.)
Does all this point to increased action from the IRS to collect from WTRs? We cannot be sure at this point, but please let us know if the IRS takes any action against you.
Post by Lincoln Rice