?

Log in

No account? Create an account
A boycott that might actually make sense. - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [Pete and Pam's pages (photos and some commentary)] [Pam's journal] [Our company] [My Flickr Photos] [Arisia]
September 25th, 2008
09:28 pm

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
A boycott that might actually make sense.
I've long thought that the biggest mistake we've made in terms of surrendering to limitless federal authority is the enlistment of employers as tax collectors.

Every so often we see the chain letter go around: On a specific date, everyone should refrain from taking part in some routine activity. [Buying gas, shopping at McDonald's, etc.]

Here's a variation on this theme...a way of telling Uncle Sam in no uncertain terms that we don't want our dollars going to bail out Wall Street firms' bad choices.

Would the message get across if millions of employees across the nation went to their HR departments with new W-4 forms claiming enough exemptions that little to no income tax would be withheld?

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:unquietsoul5
Date:September 26th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
Generally I believe that deliberately doing such will cause you to be charged extra penalties at the end of the year when you do file your taxes (according to my resident CPA employee).
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:September 26th, 2008 10:55 am (UTC)

Oh, no...

(Link)
That's not in question...the point is, if millions of people all joined in and did this at once, it would overwhelm any enforcement ability to go after them...

It strikes me that withholding tax revenues may be the only true "veto" power we have left.
[User Picture]
From:kitwench
Date:September 26th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, no...

(Link)
No, if millions of people did this all at once, the government would suddenly be solvent.
They'd just take your homes, your businesses, your vehicles , your kid's computer...

[User Picture]
From:unquietsoul5
Date:September 26th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, no...

(Link)
Except it wouldn't. The government has already proved itself quite capable of putting a million people in jail at the same time. 1 out of every 100 people in this country are in jail as of Jan this year (2.2 million). They'll gladly add a few million more to keep control and put them to work doing slave labor (which is what our prisons do).

I've seen what these kinds of protests produce as result... it means the government seizes your home eventually, and eventually throws you in jail.

No thanks. It's not an answer.
[User Picture]
From:donnad
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
(Link)
And on April 15th, would you have the discretionary cash to hand over?
Despite having extra withheld every year, we end up handing a hefty check over every year and have to make sure we put money aside for it. This year it will be particularly bad for us, we had a stock buyout when G's company got sold. We'll be handing over something to the tune of $57K. (We didn't have them take the taxes out when we sold the stock, we figured 8 months of interest in our pockets on the $57K was the better option.)

Also, they can come after you if you don't pay, they can take away your home, your car, they can and will take your paycheck before you even see it if you don't pay.
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)

People aren't getting this...

(Link)
Anyone singly doing this is screwed...

If tens or hundreds of millions did it, it's a movement.
[User Picture]
From:badgerthorazine
Date:September 27th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)

Re: People aren't getting this...

(Link)
I'd love to! Unfortunately, given that I'm on SSI, I don't pay taxes. At least, not that I'm aware of. I'm all for them giving me a decent amount of money, though! ;-)
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:September 27th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)

Oh no...

(Link)
I fully expect they will start squeezing benefits to try to pay for their schemes.
[User Picture]
From:badgerthorazine
Date:September 28th, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)

Re: Oh no...

(Link)
Good point. Bleh.

By the way, belated congratulations if I haven't already sent 'em. Badger Want Pictures. Will y'all be at Albacon?
[User Picture]
From:kitwench
Date:September 26th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, you'd be temporarily giving Accounting a LOT more work, but they'd still be filing the same paperwork - it doesn't affect their jobs whether you deduct all or deduct nothing.

But none of that changes the amount going bye bye on April 15th.
And here's the cute little thing.

Technically, your taxes aren't due April 15th. No.

They're due quarterly, and the paperwork PROVING that you really did pay all you were supposed to pay is due April 15th. Along with a make-up check for the bit you screwed up by not paying when you should have done.

And then you've got to remember that all those taxes are due anyways, and be ready to pay them when you file - and hope the amount due doesn't go high enough that now you're paying a penalty on that late payment.
[User Picture]
From:awfief
Date:September 26th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yes, unfortunately -- if you owe over a certain amount you end up paying penalties, and in order to avoid that penalty, if you "make too much" you have to file quarterly.

Pain.
[User Picture]
From:awfief
Date:September 26th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, and that also affects everything else tax money goes for, including the amount that goes to the state for things like education.

So at that point the question really is "why do you hate America?" :)
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)

people aren't getting this...

(Link)
look beyond your individual tax liability...

what we're talking about is telling the government that you can bail out Wall Street, but we aren't going to willingly hand you the cash out of our wallets for you to do it _ today _.

The government will no doubt continue to borrow money and bankrupt the country further, but hopefully they'll get the message that enough is enough.
[User Picture]
From:coleoptera
Date:September 26th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
There's actually a reasonable way to do that, but it's not a way to handle the overall taxes, more primarily to handle expected bonuses and such. If you can anticipate the timing (just to within a couple months) of your bonus payment(s), go to HR and change your dependent or exemption number upward a bunch. Then change it back down after you get that money. It keeps a lot more of that cash in your pocket and doesn't affect your regular taxes. Or so I'm told by the person I know that does this and the HR people who work with him.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 26th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The IRS never actually sees the W4s.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=139412,00.html

At the bottom of the W4, it says "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this certificate and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete".

If you're counting on the wave of people doing this and the statute of limitations to run out before they can prosecute you, you may find the IRS claiming that since this was a willful act on your part, the fraud tolls the statute of limitations. Oops.

So this is a very long-winded sort of way to channel Chris Rock and say "I wouldn't do that shit if I was you..."

-RS


[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:September 26th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)

It's something that only works if it's a movement...

(Link)
...anyone individually doing this is screwed.


[User Picture]
From:kitwench
Date:September 27th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)

Re: It's something that only works if it's a movement...

(Link)
I think you're making the assumption that we didn't get the 'movement' part.
I did, in fact, get that.
I'm still saying 'nope, not gonna work, dude.'
The last movement to tell the Federal government to f-off resulted in a 4 yr civil war.
Do you really believe that a movement intended to drain MAJOR cash from the Fed Teat won't have serious consequences?
[User Picture]
From:happypete
Date:September 27th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)

hmmm...

(Link)
More serious than a course of action which at best will have no impact on an economic downturn, and at worst will make it longer and more painful--and which will impoverish every citizen of the country by thousands of dollars regardless of how well or poorly it works?
[User Picture]
From:tinnekke
Date:September 27th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)

Re: It's something that only works if it's a movement...

(Link)
No actually the last movement that demanded something of the federal government that it wasn't willing to give resulted in a massacre right in downtown Washington DC. Read up on The Bonus Army and what happened to them when they went to DC to demand what was promised them.
Pete, Pam and Quinn's pages Powered by LiveJournal.com