Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
A criminal is a person who engages in the use of force or fraud to obtain by deception a certain value belonging to others. (Basis: Common law)The common law definition does back centuries. It pre-dates the tax system, so don't think we can't live without a tax system. Taxation as we know it is relatively recent. The Internal Revenue Code was only adopted in 1919. Actually it was not legally enacted. But there are plenty of countries which have 'legal' codes which are no less moral. Paradoxically it is the Arab states like Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Brunei and the UAE which have the fairest tax systems, but that has more to do with easy oil & gas money than rational philosophical values. The tax office's definition is the product of the arbitrary law enacted by vested interested politicians.
The tax office would have you believe that a criminal (or a tax cheat in this context) is a person who breaks the law. (Arbitrary legislation after WWI)
1. The lack of opportunity to seek redress, both in terms of policy and assessmentsWe can understand why tax evasion results in problems. Consider a study by Spicer and Becker (1980), which found that taxpayers increased their level of tax evasion when they considered themselves victims of vertical inequity, but decreased their tax evasion when they perceived themselves to be the beneficiaries of vertical inequity. The implication is three-fold:
2. The lack of ethical framework for levying the tax
3. The lack of choice in participating in it, or chosing between systems that might exist in different states. You can’t so readily choose your country, but you can chose your state.
1. That some people are not consistent in their decisions. This is understandable. Why should they act with principles when the government doesn’t.Research into procedural justice shows that taxpayers are generally more compliant when they think the tax authorities have treated them fairly and respectfully (Wenzel, 2003). The implication is that there are levels of discontent with government. What these studies fail to raise is the taxpayer discontent with the way governments spend money. There are several grounds for this discontent:
2. The system supports the majority and punishes the minorities or marginal electorates served by political parties, e.g. farmers, pensioners, welfare recipients and business. These groups also benefit from considerable social sympathy because they are political organised.
3. The system is unfairly designed
1. The seemingly political (self serving) nature of the expendituresThere is little empirical research available on the attitudes and beliefs of taxpayers actually known to be engaged in aggressive tax planning (Refer to Murphy, 2002a; 2002b; in press; Murphy & Byng, 2002a; 2002b; Hobson, 2002; Williams, 2004). Most studies only consider the attitudes and beliefs of taxpayers in the general population. Non-compliant taxpayer might be dismayed by this, believing that they are the victims of unfair policies that burden them at the expense of the majority. One cannot assume that their resentment is purely concerned with the distribution of the burden. Other issues are the unfairness of the system in terms of:
2. The slow political process to take action
3. The low efficiency of the tax expenditures
4. The failure of government spending to achieve its stated goals
5. The extent of government spending which they don’t support
6. The extent to which government spending is marked by corruption
7. The extent to which government appears to be doing nothing to remedy these problems
8. The extent to which the government appears to be concealing or denying its lack of efficacy or incompetency in these matters
“The Centre for Tax System Integrity (CTSI) is a specialised research unit set up as a partnership between the Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to extend our understanding of how and why cooperation and contestation occur within the tax system”.The paper investigates the increase in aggressive tax planning during the 1990s. The CTSI asserts that this aggressive financial planning “poses a serious threat to the integrity of Australia’s tax system”. This is of course a load of crap. The ATO has no integrity. It’s principles are entirely arbitrary just like the legislation created by our parliament. How can they speak of integrity when there is no moral framework for it. Thus there can be no framework for integrity – only the same obedience demanded by every fascist government. The Australian Tax Code sits juxtaposed against Common Law, which actually does have a basis in reason.
SEDITION is conduct which is directed against a government which tends toward insurrection but does not amount to treason. Treasonous conduct consists of levying war against the United States or of adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. The raising commotions or disturbances in the state; it is a revolt against legitimate authority.On this basis you would have to wonder what is 'legitimate law'. Well that would depend on the judgement of the government, and its a worry that judges are paid employees of the State and often have political affiliations. We have actually seen judges in the US Supreme Court disallow defendants from introducing Constitutional laws into their courts, because they asserted they had no place in a lower state court. Why? Because they want to defend the US tax laws.
The distinction between sedition and treason consists is the 'violation of the public peace, or at least such a course of measures that evidently engenders it, yet it does not aim at direct and open violence against the laws, or the subversion of the Constitution.Well I guess I fail on those grounds because the Australian constitution does not protect my freedoms. The government over the decades has rejected the need for a bill of rights, and to be quite honest I would be scared to think what would be offered for such consideration. Why? Because people have no respect for objectivity or reason. I went to a protest in regional NSW over the major political parties, and they throw around words like they have no meaning. Their implicit meaning of 'rights' is a claim to breach others rights, which is of course a contradiction in terms if rights are to be equal and applicable to all people. Really that is not what they want, they want power over people and money, which makes them part of the problem.
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