Conservatives vow to seek tax exemption amid viral TikTok trend

Conservatives on TikTok are trying to get people to stop paying their taxes, citing Joe Biden’s presidency as taxation without representation.

In the original video that kicked off, which had 5,300 views and 100 duets, a man can be seen explaining how collective action on tax documents could be an act of revolution against the US government.

“It’s as easy as going to your HR department and applying for a leave of absence [on Form W-4],” he said. “Because there’s this cute little document that says there’s no taxation without representation, and they make it pretty clear that the American people are no longer represented.”

The original TikToker appears to refer to the Constitution, which does not include taxation without representation. The phrase was used as a rallying cry in the run-up to the War of Independence via the Stamp Act of 1765 when the British Parliament voted to tax US colonies. However, the rate was never codified into law, and many examples of unrepresented taxation still exist, including the District of Colombia and all US territories.

Despite this legal and factual inaccuracy, people in the video’s comments think it’s possible.

“Haven’t paid for 27 years,” one comment said.

“Yeah, I haven’t paid taxes in years because I oppose illegal compulsory taxation and that will be my argument in court, too,” said another.

Subsequent duets feature TikTokers reacting to the video and agreeing with the original poster. One of the duets has over 23,000 likes and 1,000 comments, with people once again agreeing that refusal to pay is possible and legal.

“I’ve been exempt from taxes for years, show me the law that says I have to pay,” one comment read.

“That is what I said [for] over a year, but there are few who believe in the constitution,” said another.

According to H&R Block, while applying for a tax exemption is not illegal, applicants must meet certain criteria to qualify for the exemption. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines and an IRS bill for unpaid taxes. Even with a tax exemption, employers will continue to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from an employee’s paycheck.

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*Initial Release: Jun 16, 2022 3:53pm CDT

Jacob Seitz

Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.

Jacob Seitz Conservatives vow to seek tax exemption amid viral TikTok trend

Jaclyn Diaz

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