April 15, 2002
Internal Revenue Service
Philadelphia, PA 19255-1451
To Whom It May Concern:
Enclosed are my federal tax forms for 2001 along with a check in payment for the Social Security and Medicare portion of what I owe. The additional amount that the form shows I owe is not enclosed.
As in previous years, I am unable to pay any federal taxes for reasons of conscientious objection to war. I have not paid any federal taxes since 1987. I do not plan to do so until I can be assured that nothing of what I pay will fund war or its preparations. This letter is similar to those I have sent to the I.R.S. in previous years, but to no avail.
I am a religious pacifist, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers. Many of our country’s forefathers were Quakers. The Religious Society of Friends has a long tradition of conscientious objection to war. Keeping in mind my deeply held religious beliefs, I cannot in any way participate in a system that uses violence or the threat of violence to resolve conflicts. It pains me greatly to see the violent response my country has made to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. I believe with all my being that violent responses to violence can only make matters worse.
Please don’t misunderstand what I am doing. I do not take issue with the federal income tax system. I very much want to pay my federal taxes, but I am unable to do so. It goes against the core of my being to pay for war and its preparations. In keeping with my convictions, I am placing the federal taxes that I owe into an escrow fund in the sincere hope that I will be provided with a satisfactory legal alternative to my dilemma in the near future.
I pray that one day I will be able to pay my federal taxes in good conscience.
Steven J. Kretzmann
cc: President George W. Bush
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Paul Sarbanes
Cogressman Wayne Gilchrest
Commissioner Charles Rossotti