Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 19, 2012

in Other People's Money, Taxes

… is from page 234 of Jonathan R.T. Hughes’s 1977 book, The Government Habit:

The Internal Revenue Service Form W-4, which appeared in 1971, even co-opted the taxpayer himself to inform upon his fellow taxpayer:

Employee – If you had no tax liability last year and anticipate none for this year, you may be exempt from income tax withholding by filing Form W-4E with your employer.

Employer – If you believe the employee claimed too many exemptions advise your District Director.

This kind of group compulsion is an ancient and obnoxious method of government control.  One can imagine how an historian would write this up if the tax form had been produced by the French government in the spring of 1789.

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