W-4 What?


The New York Times reports that tax honesty movement arguments (see my article on the movement from Reason's May issue) regarding payroll withholding are becoming so pervasive that the American Payroll Association's (APA) annual conference had a speaker dealing with (and trying to debunk) them. (Briefly, the arguments say that according to U.S. Code Title 26, Subtitle C, Chapter 24, Section 3402(n), if you tell your employer not to withhold, they should oblige you.) Some managers, the speaker at the APA conference reports, feel threatened by people trying to get their employers to stop W-4 withholding from their paychecks:

Tax protesters "can be colorful characters who show up with a wheelbarrow full of documents" purporting to show that the tax laws are a trick, he said, comparing their "pseudo-legal arguments" to "the Unabomber's manifesto."

Payroll officials should be careful with such people, Mr. O'Toole warned. "They may not be very nice," he said. "They could be dangerous."

That prompted Dennis Carroll, who handles tax-denier claims by United States Postal Service workers, to announce, "I work behind three locked doors."

The story doesn't mention how dangerous the government can become to people who try to keep their own money by applying their own understanding of tax codes.