Occupy the IRS? TaxKilla Shows You How to Bend the Tax Code

taxkilla - cheating on your taxes
taxkilla - cheating on your taxes

Given that protests against "taxation without representation" catalyzed the founding of our country, it's appropriate that each April, resistance to taxes in general becomes America's national hobby. Some take that resistance to the extreme by encouraging the broad use of tax loopholes and legal, but iffy, ways to reduce what you pay to the IRS.

The latest player to debut in that crowd: a website called taxKilla.org, which resembles the hybrid offspring of the Occupy movement and the anti-tax wing of the Tea Party.

Though taxKilla may be among the most pronounced examples of this cheat-the-system sentiment -- at least in its heavily-charged rhetoric -- it's not alone. There is a widespread belief that the empowered rich lobby for unfair tax breaks and bend the rules, gaming the tax system to their benefit at the expense of the rest of us -- and that the rest of us should push back. What taxKilla recommends is not technically cheating -- instead, it suggests ways for average Americans to use some of the same loopholes the rich and powerful do to level the playing field, cut corners, increase their deductions, and avoid or beat an audit.

So Who Are These taxKillas?

According to Business Insider, two ex-Wall Streeters formed the site in January 2012, in part to strengthen their ties to the Occupy movement. Co-founder Jen Powers, a Columbia grad who worked in finance in the 1980s before decamping to social work, has said taxKilla operates under the motto "Occupy The IRS." Powers says her co-founder is Fred Buddemeyer, but failed to elaborate on his bio, saying only that a LinkedIn page that lists him as a graduate of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business was "created as an SEO test." (That page, and another for him, have since been removed from LinkedIn.) Buddemeyer was not made available for comment.

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The site uses as its Twitter avatar a picture of Thomas Jefferson, who pushed through the repeal of a host of taxes on Americans during his presidency. And the taxKillas point to tax rebellion as an important touchstone throughout history.

"Tax protests have shaped history long before these groups," Buddemeyer wrote, (and conveyed through Powers). "When the people refused Henry the VIII's levies, he couldn't make his mark by invading France so he found inspiration from love instead of war."

"it is a joke that people surrender half their labors to a gang of thugs, however that they do this without question is rather sad," Buddemeyer wrote.

Judging from the site's ragged visual style, Guy Fawkes imagery and e.e. cummings-esque disregard for punctuation and capitalization -- perhaps in a subtle dig at 'capital'? -- taxKilla is trying to dovetail with the grassroots vibe of the Occupy movement. Even the "https" is stricken in red from the URL in renegade fashion. One could suggest that it's the diabolic counterpoint to the Singing Tax Lady's angelic tax tips.

The Rebellion Itself -- Not All That Revolutionary


As for the information itself, it's not all that innovative or revolutionary. For example, the site explains to wannabe tax rebels how to skirt taxes by filing Schedule C and taking deductions like a business entity.

That's not exactly accounting ingenuity: CPAs know that loads of people do this already to create more robust tax refunds.

Along with its beat-the-system advice, taxKilla helps you get started in executing it: Once a person signs up, he is provided with information on which forms to fill out to get a business entity deduction: 1040, Schedule C and Form 4562. The site lets you know where to file for free and explains the purpose of each line on your tax form.

Among the other wise bits of advice it offers for those who hope to push the edge of the envelope: tips for avoiding an audit.

DailyFinance recently laid out a number of other tips for legally 'cheating' on taxes, such as taking deductions on gym memberships (you can do it with a little help from your doctor) or deducting certain home renovations under the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit. And we've published a host of articles with details on avoiding audits, or deductions you might not have considered. (Check out the DailyFinance Tax Center here.)

NEXT: Learn From These Celeb Tax Mistakes


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