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 […]

Tangled Up In Banking

I’ve probably said this before, but it is rather funny how often discussions about war tax resistance lead to questions about banking. If you have a tax debt, having assets is, of course, problematic, and holding that money in an account with your social security number makes it vulnerable to seizure. A no-interest account offers some protection, because U.S. banks report annual interest of $10 or more to the IRS — a direct link back to your bank account(s). If the thought of not earning interest pains you, check out Juanita Nelson’s essay “On Interest” — written a few decades ago but still important food-for-thought. One of the positive side-effects of war tax resistance is that it can lead you […]

Tax Day Resistance, Redirection, and Planning Ahead

Tax day is behind us now — but tax season 2018 will be here before we know it! Northern California War Tax Resistance used their time and energy in the Tax March San Francisco to inform participants (who were mostly calling for Trump to release his taxes) about W-4 resistance and to get them thinking about resisting next year. They created this flyer (with matching banner) to hand out during the march: Not only were they referring people to the website for more information, but the group has arranged for a War Tax Resistance 101 live webinar and in-person gathering on Sunday, April 23, to follow up on the march. Follow that link for details and to register; be sure […]

Pleading the Fifth to the IRS

In 1985, the IRS took war tax resister and NWTRCC staff member Larry Bassett to court. Bassett had refused to pay any income taxes since 1980, and had refused the federal excise tax on telephone service since the early 1970s. The IRS wanted to compel him to give up information about his financial accounts so the agency could collect his refused income taxes. The case began very quickly, with a January 21 Order to Show Cause, requiring Bassett to appear for a January 31 court date. He wrote to the judge on January 22, stating his intent to appear as ordered, and noting: “I am not opposing taxation; I have paid the self-employment tax to support the Social Security system…. […]

What to think about for tax resistance in 2017, 2018, and beyond

Lots of people are looking for the basics of tax resistance — whether against war and violence, the border wall, closing the door on refugees, racism, a mass deportation force, getting Trump to release his tax forms, the Trump agenda in general, having a president that many see as unqualified, or some new executive order we might hear about next week. Tax day is April 18, 2017, the last day to file 2016 taxes. Whether you owe or not, whether you are resisting or not, here are some considerations and ideas for those newly interested in tax resistance as a protest strategy: File on paper and mail in your form. It’s one way to slow the system. The IRS has […]

Will I go to jail if I refuse to pay war taxes?

One of the top questions we get at NWTRCC is, “If I don’t pay the IRS, won’t I go to jail?” Our response: “People who are first considering war tax resistance often have the mistaken impression that people who refuse to pay their taxes from motives of conscience are at great risk of going to jail or having their homes taken away from them. In fact these risks are so rare that the list of war tax resistance cases since World War II is a short one. Here, for example is a list of war tax resisters taken to court or jailed for their resistance, and a list of property seizures and attempted property seizures against war tax resisters. The lists taken together […]

Ammon Hennacy and other early modern war tax resisters

NWTRCC network member David Gross has been working to release the enormous volume, The Book of Ammon, a collection of writings by the Christian anarchist Ammon Hennacy, as a free e-book. This book, currently out of print, is a fascinating look at a man famous for his draft resistance, his war tax resistance, and his involvement with the Catholic Worker movement. I’m one of the test readers of the book, looking for typos (Hennacy wasn’t much for proofreading!). A few items caught my interest, and I’d like to share some additional research. 1. Ammon Hennacy repeatedly states that he turned to farm work, after leaving his job as a social worker in 1942, because it was the only kind of […]

Reasons to Celebrate

Somehow the IRS is attuned to vacations and holidays. They like to surprise you with their letters, bills and perhaps stronger demands just when you’re in a good mood or feeling relaxed. Like last week: I came back from vacation to a pile of 10 “Amount Due” letters from the IRS (not sure what our house sitter thought about that). There was one for each year still within the Statute of Limitations for collection. Since I file and refuse to pay, the IRS has 10 years to collect from the date of assessment, or about a month after you file (unless they dispute your return or don’t file; then assessment will come later). So I got a letter for each […]

Understanding common IRS collection letters

image of IRS letter with heading "You have unpaid taxes for 2015 - Amount due: $1,922.39"

Most war tax resisters who refuse federal income taxes will eventually (or quickly) get a letter from the IRS. Here I describe some of the most common letters one tax-return-filing resister has gotten over the past few years. Resisters who do not file tax returns may get letters more slowly or not at all, until or unless the IRS system determines that a return has not been filed and issues the appropriate paperwork. (Do you want to write about IRS letters you’ve gotten as a non-filer? Write us a blog post! E-mail wartaxresister at nwtrcc dot org.) And you personally may receive all, some, or none of these letters. For more about the collection process and how it affects war […]

Building connections at a San Diego teach-in

by Anne Barron (Introductory editorial note: On February 15, Activist San Diego hosted a teach-in about war tax resistance, organized by Anne Barron, a war tax resistance counselor and NWTRCC network activist. The promotional materials said: “Communities around the world are resisting American militarism. Join us in a discussion of how each one of us can defund the Pentagon. There are so many ways we pay for war while working for peace. Join us in examining ways each of us can divest from the Pentagon and support resisters!”) We started off the teach-in with food, delicious fresh tapas by a local cooperative, Saboteurs Kitchen.  I felt great about redirecting our war tax dollars to local entrepreneurs.  Andrea of Saboteurs talked […]

Do war tax resisters end up overpaying when the IRS adds interest and penalties?

A common argument against war tax resistance goes something like this: War tax resistance is counterproductive: The government will add penalties and interest to whatever you refuse to pay, and when they eventually wring the money out of you, in the end you’ll have given even more financial support to the military than you would have if you’d just paid up in the first place. Today I’ll show you some evidence that I hope will convince you that this is not a very good argument. Lots of people don’t pay the IRS what the agency thinks they should. The IRS has tried to figure out where this missing money is hiding, but their methodology isn’t all that great, and it’s not […]

Collection Is Not a Resistance Failure

I was wondering what war tax resisters were thinking about in 1996, which is as far back as our archived newsletter archives go. (Answer: pretty much the same things in different contexts!) I came across a piece on the effectiveness of war tax resistance from Sallie Marx and Robert Hieger of New York City War Tax Resisters. (Also, as you can see from the screenshot and the link to the piece, we never finished migrating stuff from two websites ago to our previous website format, and now we have archived archives. Maybe the 1990s web will be back in style eventually. It works so well for Craigslist that their charitable fund has sent NWTRCC some very generous unsolicited grants!) Back […]