Plane crash tax protest
This report from our US sister site, AccountingWEB.com describes the background to an attack on an IRS building in Austin, Texas by a tax protestor that left 13 people injured.
On February 18th at 9:56 am, Joseph Stack took a page from the 9/11 terrorists and crashed a light plane into an IRS office in Austin, TX, as a final protest.
One hundred and ninety people worked in the seven-story Echelon building, an outsourced IRS office. When the Cherokee PA-28 hit, employees were knocked off their feet. Thirteen were injured and one person – an IRS revenue collector – was unaccounted for. By nightfall, TV news reports said the building was still smoking and search dogs were looking for victims.
Stack (age 53 or 54), a software engineer from Austin was confirmed dead. Later it was learned that 45 minutes before the plane crash, he set fire to his home in suburban Austin. Neighbors pulled his wife and 12 year old daughter from the fully engulfed house.
According to reports, the suicidal attack was brought on by what he perceived as incompetent representation from accountants and unfair, unequal treatment by the IRS for many years. Records show that two of his software companies were recently suspended by the state tax authorities.
On the morning of his attack, Stack posted a 3,000 word anti-tax manifesto on the Internet, which included this line: “Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.” He ranted about the favorable treatment of the rich and powerful including the “vulgar and corrupt Catholic church,” the government bailouts, the bank failures, rules governing self-employment, health care and more.
Included in Stack’s manifesto were these words: “I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother’ while he strips my carcass. I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me. I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.