Growing Without Rain

News and Views about Taxes

Austin Joe, tax protests, and independent contractor vs employee status

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I was going to write something about Joe Stack, but other people have said what I’d say, and much better. Two in particular caught my eye.

Kay Bell, who writes the Don’t Mess With Taxes blog, and who lives in the Austin area, wrote this excellent piece on the efforts by tax protesters to turn Stack into a hero/martyr for the cause. Ms. Bell writes:

In addition to the relatively moderate bloggers and Internet chat room participants who prefaced their comments with “I don’t agree,” even more have come out of the extremist woodwork to make Stack a martyr for their anti-government, anti-tax causes. In Internet chat rooms, his deluded destruction was praised as a patriotic act against an oppressive system. Fan pages sprung up on Facebook.

That, folks, is almost as disturbing as what Stack did. And it’s just flat out wrong.


The Tax Lawyer, Peter Pappas, has this explanation of the independent contractor vs employee ruling that was at the heart of Stack’s decision to fly his plane into the IRS building. He notes, quite rightly, that

Stack was upset that §1706 did precisely what it was designed to do: Deprive him of the chance to exploit independent contractor status to avoid paying taxes through non-filing or through the understatement of income, overstatement of deductions, and avoidance of income tax withholding.

Mr. Pappas includes a link to this description of the law governing the determination of independent contractor status vs employee status. If you are not sure that you are classified correctly, read that article.


Written by nctaxpro

February 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm

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