“If I don’t hear you, it’s not illegal!”

Ned Flanders from the Simpsons sits upright in bed, fireworks going off in the window behind him, chuckles, and says, "January 1st. Better get on those taxes, Neddy."

Every year since becoming a war tax resister, it has taken me longer and longer to file my taxes. I used to be one of those people who filed their tax return in late January, early February. I was only somewhat less serious than Ned Flanders in the Simpsons episode, “The Trouble With Trillions” (S9E20). Ned wakes up at midnight, January 1, to start doing his taxes, and mails them when the post office opens in the morning. (Okay, so usually the IRS doesn’t even release the prior year’s tax form until sometime later in January, but that’s a small detail.) But I always fill out my tax return accurately. Personally, I’m not looking for extra trouble with the IRS beyond […]

Taxes, Teens, and the Costs of War

I hate doing my taxes. For each of the last few weekends, “do your taxes” has been on the top of my to-do list. If I were to prioritize a list of things I procrastinate about, doing taxes might be on top. I’ve always done them myself since my situation is not particularly complicated, but I am usually rushing at the last minute to get it in the mail before or after our tax day demonstration. Probably the one thing that motivates me to finally get it done is so I can enclose the letter telling the government why I’m not paying (here’s one from 2003). If I wasn’t a war tax resister would I continue to file? My style […]

Creating An Affinity Group for Resistance and Support

Tax season is here! Calls and emails come to the NWTRCC office from people who don’t want their taxes going to war, border walls and deportations, a white supremacist system, tax laws made for the rich, a government set on speeding up climate change, etc. etc. etc. Despite the desire to resist, many of these people express a fear of doing it alone. Lots of people like the idea of a pledge: “I’ll resist when 10,000 others sign on to a tax resistance campaign over a particular issue.” There’s one about stopping war with North Korea now. On the one hand, most of us longtime resisters want to say yes, let’s go for it. On the other hand, there have […]

Happy New Year! Want to Be a War Tax Resister?

In 2017, many people discussed and organized around tax resistance to the Trump administration or to its policies (such as nuclear antagonism, the recent tax bill, and attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act). War tax resisters were the subject of a lot of media attention too! However, we didn’t get a lot of visible growth in the number of resisters. But it takes time for folks to become comfortable with the idea. 2018 is a new year! One of the biggest reasons to be a tax resister is the reason the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee has been around since 1982. Namely, the toxic militarism that persists no matter who is president. The waste of lives, dollars, and […]

Tax Overhaul – First Look for WTRs

How will the new tax bill affect war tax resisters (WTRs)? This is something we will all be learning by experience in the next couple years. One thing that is clear: the IRS is pretty overwhelmed by all the new work and continued budget cuts. That makes it harder for them to enforce collection (although personally, since I resist as a protest, I’d just as soon not be totally ignored). So, for a first look, here are a few things that come to mind: If you don’t file, you probably get to ignore the whole thing, at least as far as tax details and forms go, unless you’re a wage employee (see below). You might not ignore the fact that […]

Keep resistance alive in 2018

"I know first hand how hard NWTRCC's coordinators work to spread the word about war tax resistance and to create and provide resources. All this work requires money to continue." - Peter Smith and Ellyn Stecker

Just a brief post this week! Please support the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee with a generous donation by December 31! We want to keep going strong in 2018, able to address new events and concerns in the struggle against war – but also keep up our solid work in providing community and support for resisters! Your donation will help a lot. The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund announced that they received no requests for assistance in 2016. I would call this shocking, but it seems like resisters just aren’t being collected on lately. Success! But if people need this fund and aren’t using it, that’s no success. To support resisters in the future by contributing to reimburse them for […]

Looking for more coins to feed the machine

still from video of "Mother of All Bombs" being dropped on Afghanistan, April 13, 2017

We’re shifting gears a bit today to share a poem about war and tax resistance! Let’s stop feeding the machine. -Erica Purgatory by Jayson I had a dream last night and in the dream, I woke up and I didn’t know where I was. There was nothing leading up to it, I just woke up in a strange place. Before too long, based on what was happening I figured that I was in hell, or someplace like it. I must have died, somehow, and now I was in hell. It was absolutely awful. There were people dying all around me from famine and disease. Bombs were dropping on them and they were too weak to run.   Then, all of […]

Divest from war and prisons!

Our Divest from War, Invest in People organizing guide and infographic refer to various divestment movements that our organizing builds on, including fossil fuel, South Africa, Israel, and private prisons. I think most war tax resisters are aware of the first three divestment movements. But you may not be aware of the private prison divestment movement and the general movement for alternatives to all incarceration. Today in the US, about 2.3 million people are incarcerated. The US has the highest rate of incarceration and the highest absolute number of people incarcerated of any country in the world. The prison system encompasses federal and state prisons, municipal jails, juvenile detention, and immigrant detention centers. (The euphemistic “detention centers” are still prisons.) […]

Lifting Up Dellinger and Antiwar Activists

Are you watching the big Ken Burns/Lynn Novick series The Vietnam War on PBS? My friends are talking about it, some are watching it, others, like me, not. I still find the horror of that war too painful to see the footage again. The waste on all levels remains painful and has carried through my life of working against war. In addition, the documentary apparently gives short shrift to the antiwar movement. I was skeptical when the New York Times review said, “The film’s center of moral gravity is ordinary soldiers, whose sacrifice and loyalty to one another are repeatedly contrasted with the political machinations of the powerful, on both sides.” Not the thousands in the streets who saw from […]

Resisting Nukes – Then and Now

August 6 and 9, 2017, mark the 72nd anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. War tax resistance spans the nuclear age, and many war tax resisters have been motivated by the horror of those bombings, by the frightening possibility that nuclear weapons will be used again, and by the human and financial costs of the whole process of producing those weapons. In the dangerous moment that we find ourselves today, one of the bravest pioneers of the modern war tax resistance movement, James Otsuka (1921-1984), comes to mind. As with other war tax resisters from the 1940s, he was a conscientious objector during World War II and refused to serve the military in any capacity. For that […]

More on IRS collection tactics

In a previous blog post, we reported the experience of one war tax resister that the IRS typically sends two letters before sending the Notice of Intent to Levy (see picture to the left for an example).  This year, however, a few resisters have reported getting only one letter before the Notice of Intent. One resister usually gets three letters before the Notice of Intent, and this year only got one. By sending fewer letters before the Notice of Intent, the IRS gives itself the opportunity to seize money from your bank accounts or wages sooner. But often, nothing happens regardless. If you have gotten fewer (or the same, or more) letters about your 2016 tax bill so far this […]

After Tax Day, the discussion continues

yard sign with Put People First printed on it; a hen in the grass behind the sign

This hasn’t been a typical year for war tax resistance by any stretch of the imagination, and that includes the atmosphere after Tax Day! Even after Tax Day this year, people are fired up about resistance, funding work for justice and peace, and building a better world. For example, Michael McCarthy wrote this week about the folly of making and selling weapons to ensure national security: This Pentecost season when we call on the Holy Spirit to renew our faith, let us resolve to take steps to stop giving Caesar our first fruits of federal income tax with which to make war, and convert these monies to God’s peacemaking purposes. For the practical measures, risks, responsibilities and spiritual benefits please […]