In a recent video, Josie Wales and I repeatedly invited people to stop paying taxes. I was quite amused by how many people commented, essentially, that not paying taxes, is illegal. People asked how to get away with not paying taxes, they asked if I paid taxes, who would build the roads, and all manner of chuckle inducing inquiries.
Please allow me to answer your questions.
Isn’t it illegal to not pay taxes?
I don’t know. I’m not an attorney, and even if I was, I doubt I would understand tax law. Nobody does. Thousands of pages of cryptic demands and threats from violent and dishonest people is of little interest to me. Even if I tried to obey the tax laws, I would probably fail, because I don’t understand it. Chances are, you commit numerous felonies every single day without even realizing it, just because the laws are so far reaching and incomprehensible.
This being the case, I just don’t understand why one would simultaneously pay huge sums of money to extortionists who will spend it on wars and prisons, and break the law at the same time. If you’re going to break the law, you might as well keep your money, and if you can’t understand the law, you’re probably breaking it in some way.
The way I operate in life is by trying to do the right thing. In almost all cases, this keeps me out of trouble. I don’t think I benefit anybody by paying money to violent and dishonest people just because they call themselves “the government”. I think more people should try to do the right thing, instead of worrying what a bunch of sociopaths in Washington D.C. want them to do.
Won’t I go to jail if I don’t pay taxes?
Probably not. The fact of the matter is, most tax laws are completely unenforceable in the vast majority of cases. Nobody understands the law, we’re all breaking it all the time. If they tried to chase down every person who broke the law, they would quickly exhaust all the taxes they did manage to collect, and go out of business. What gets taxes paid, what makes taxation a profitable scam, is the threat of imprisonment and property seizure, not the actual prisons and seizures themselves.
Every once in awhile they make an example out of somebody, to keep the rest of us in line. So yes, there is a possibility you will go to prison if you don’t pay taxes. What is far more likely is, you’ll get a bunch of threatening letters from the government, and nothing will ever happen.
Do I pay taxes?
Not if I can avoid it. Sometimes taxes are unavoidable, or just too impractical to avoid, like taxes on gasoline. I rent a house that the landlord pays property taxes on. He is responding to the threats of the government, and part of my rent is going to the government. I cannot avoid this.
You can avoid a lot of taxes by moving to a place like New Hampshire, that’s what I did. There is no state income or general sales tax here. You would thus be paying a lot less in taxes than you would in a place like New York, from once I came, just by living in a nicer place.
I do not go out of my way to inform government agents of my activities, economic or otherwise. I do not know what if any of my activity has tax liability, and I make no effort to find out. Neither should you. If I am met with a threat to my safety, and the best way for me to stay safe is to pay, then I pay, and I would advise others to do the same. Hopefully a day will come when defending my property against government threats with force becomes practical, until then, keep it in the holster.
Why would I tell people not to pay taxes, if I pay taxes?
For one, it’s just a good thought exercise. Most people don’t entirely understand that taxes are threats of violence. When they begin contemplating non payment, they realize there is a possibility that armed men will break into their house and kidnap them at gunpoint in front of their children, and throw them in a cage with violent and dangerous people, or kill them if they resist. When you think of taxes this way, it’s hard to support the practice. More than anything, I want people to stop supporting the government morally and ethically. Making people realize that taxation is theft is an important step in bringing about that change.
Secondly, as stated previously, I only pay taxes when I cannot practically avoid it. If you can avoid taxes, I think you should. I am not advising you to go out in a blaze of glory to avoid paying a sales tax on a pack of gum. I am only saying you should make every practical effort to protect your property from government and other criminals.
How do I stop paying taxes?
If you are working as an “employee” and being paid on a W2, this is nearly impossible. I do not suggest filing creative paperwork with the IRS, because that draws attention to you, and could be construed as “fraud”. If you have been filing 1040’s or 1099’s, you could just stop doing so. I don’t know what the legal implications of this are, but if you are sending money to the government on your own volition, then ceasing to do so would be step 1 in not paying taxes.
Reducing your dependence on Federal Reserve Notes, and more importantly, the banking system, can help enormously. When you trade in precious metals or bitcoin, it is difficult if not impossible for the government to assess taxes on those transactions. Using checks, bank transfers, credit cards, and other traditional financial institutions is like giving Congress a live stream of your life. The entire dollar based financial system is essentially a government agency. It exists not to protect your money or provide you with convenience, but rather to control your life through money. If you stop using the government’s money, then the government will have a hard time taking what’s yours.
Aren’t taxes important? Who would build the roads? Who would feed the poor?
Taxes do nothing good that the market could not do better.
Roads are flat paved surfaces, they are built by people and machines, not governments. Governments control the roads because governments want to control your travel. To pay for these roads, governments tax your income, your sales, your fuel, your car, and all manner of activity and property, and to add insult to injury, they then put tolls on the roads. I don’t mind paying tolls, usage fees are perfectly normal market activity. Private parties can charge tolls for private roads, and once all those taxes aren’t paying for wars and prisons, the tolls will be of little consequence to your bottom line.
Taxes do not feed the poor. Taxes drive up the cost of living for everyone, which creates poverty. Government zoning and land use laws drive up the price of housing, along with property taxes. Agriculture and food service regulations drive up the price of food. In the absence of these things I don’t imagine there would be many poor people to feed.
Taxation is theft, it is a threat of violence against people who have harmed nobody. If the mafia gives out turkeys on thanksgiving, this does not justify the crimes the mafia commits, nor does it mean that thanksgiving would end without the mafia. Likewise, the fact that the government builds roads and gives food stamps to the people it impoverished, does not justify its crimes, nor does it mean travel and nutrition will cease to exist in its absence.
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