More from Vern Krishna in the National Post – Why we hate the tax collector.
Quite an interesting article highlighting the “tax collector” throughout history.
Some interesting highlights:
1. On taxation as persecution and the an acknowledgement of the role of the “exit tax“
Taxation has long been the instrument of persecution. In England, for example, Jews were forbidden from joining any of the artisan guilds and could not own land. Thus, confined to money lending and finance, they were taxed on their goods, chattels, debts, gifts, and through licences, fines and ransoms. The penalties for non-compliance with the tax laws were severe: imprisonment, property confiscation, seizing of women and children, gouging out eyes, extracting teeth and other cruelties. Indeed, Jews were considered such a valuable economic resource that they were even forbidden from emigrating for fear of undermining the tax base of the country.
2. The relationship between unjust taxation and the end of empires – “Obama”ites, Levins and Geithners take note!
The British, equally creative and shortsighted in their colonies, imposed a tax on salt [Salt Act] in India claiming a monopoly on all of its production and distribution. Tax collection was subcontracted to oppressive salt agents. On March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his now famous 241-mile march to Dandi [on the west coast of India] to protest the tax on an essential ingredient of food. Thousands of his followers on the march were beaten, arrested and thrown in jail.
A year later the tax was reduced, but the damage was done. The nonviolent political struggle against the salt tax was a significant step on the road to Indian independence, which became the first step in the eventual dismantling of the British Empire.
(Didn’t the American Revolution have something to do with this too? I have suggested that all countries of the world emulate Gandhi’s peaceful resistance in relation to FATCA.)
3. Proof that what matters is the character of the government and not what is written into law – Get this one!
Thus, unlike Americans – who have their Taxpayer Bill of Rights codified in their Internal Revenue Code – Canadian taxpayers do not have equivalent legal protection.
Yes, there apparently really is an IRS Bill of Rights (at least on paper).
In any case, a very interesting article.