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Is it true you don’t have to pay the federal tax on your phone bill?

Dear Cecil:

I've heard that if you don't mind being put on the subversives list, you're free not to pay the federal tax on the phone bill on the grounds that you're opposed to military spending, etc. — and that the phone company won't cut off your service. Is this true?

Matt B., Baltimore

Cecil replies:

I hesitate to predict what giant bureaucracies will do in every instance, but in general the answer is yes, the phone company won’t cut off your service if you don’t pay your federal tax. On the other hand, it will tell Uncle Sam all about you and your lonely struggle against the war machine. What happens next varies. Some folks claim they’ve never heard a word from the government. Others have had the unpaid taxes deducted from their income tax refunds. Why don’t you try it and let me know?

Cecil Adams

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