The Texas War for Independence against Mexico concluded with the surrender of the Mexican President and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. The Republic of Texas was the result. Prior to Texas independence, Mexico, only fifteen years earlier gained its independence from Spain in 1821 with the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba. On October 4, 1824, Mexico adopted a new constitution which defined the country as a federal republic with nineteen states and four territories. The former province of Spanish Texas became part of a newly created state, Coahuila y Tejas, whose capital was at Saltillo, hundreds of miles from the former Texas capital, San Antonio de Bexar, now known today as San Antonio, Texas
The new Mexican country emerged from their war for independence bankrupt, and with little money for the military, Mexico encouraged immigration from the United States to Tejas for protection against hostile Indian tribes. The immigrants were promised no property taxes for ten years to immigrate. As the drove of immigrants came to take advantage of the low taxes and living expenses, it was not long before the Mexican-born settlers in Tejas were vastly outnumbered. By 1834, it was estimated that over 30,000 Anglos lived in Coahuila y Tejas, compared to only 7,800 Mexican-born citizens. By 1836, there were approximately 5,000 slaves brought into Tejas by the mostly southern immigrants. To address this situation, President Anastasio Bustamante implemented several measures on April 6, 1830. Chief among these was a prohibition against further immigration to Tejas from the United States, although American citizens would be allowed to settle in other parts of Mexico. Furthermore, the property tax law, intended to exempt immigrants from paying taxes for ten years, was rescinded, and tariffs were increased on goods shipped from the United States. Bustamante also ordered all Tejas settlers to comply with the federal prohibition against slavery or face military intervention. For the most part, the Texians ignored the new laws. The rest of the story is history.
It might be amazing to know how many Texans today realize that one of the major disputes that spawned our state was a dispute over taxes. Taxation without representation is what spawned the United States of America. As a result, our Constitution guarantees us that we as citizens will not be taxed without representation. Today, it is the law for you to be represented before any taxing authority. Our federal government spells out your right to be represented on their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. The site lists your Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and states you, as a US taxpayer, have the right to:
- be treated professionally, fairly, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees and Private Collection Agencies contacting you on behalf of the IRS;
- disagree with your tax bill;
- meet with an IRS manager if you disagree with the IRS employee who handled your tax case;
- appeal most IRS collection actions;
- have your case transferred to a different IRS office if you have a valid reason;
- be represented by someone when dealing with IRS matters;
- and receive a receipt for any payments you make.
I suppose there is nothing that will make a free-minded person more angry than to feel you have not been represented fairly when it comes to being forced to pay taxes. These feelings are so strong that they have even caused wars, so, is there any wonder about the emotions that can occur between a taxpayer and a taxing entity responsible for the collection of the taxes?
To make matters worse, our tax laws are complicated. It doesn’t matter whether or not the taxing entity is federal, state, or local, they all seem to be complicated. It doesn’t matter what nationality you are because the complication of these laws seems to be in all countries. The complication of tax law within our American system is why most people need a representative, to even out the playing field, to make it fair. In Texas today, these representatives are called tax attorneys. If you live in or around the metropolitan area of San Antonio, and you have been faced with a taxing dilemma, contact us today and we will get you in touch with a tax professional in your area who will be able to help you answer all the questions you may have about tax law.