I’m pleased to announce today that NWTRCC has published a variety of articles on starting an alternative fund.
Alternative funds are a way for war tax resisters to pool their resisted taxes. An alternative fund may:
- Hold resisted taxes in an escrow account until the government allows taxpayers to pay taxes without any of that money going to war (through, for example, the Peace Tax Fund Bill).
- Provide potential security of funds from seizure by the IRS. (Since all deposits are held in one common account under an organization’s name rather than an individual resister’s name. This isn’t a guarantee that the IRS will never be able to seize these funds, but it may be less likely.) Allow participating resisters to withdraw their deposits if the government seizes money from a resister’s personal account.
- Offer interest-free loans and/or grants to community self-help, social change, peace, and human service programs, using deposits of resisted taxes and/or interest earned on those deposits.
- Give the resister a way to emphasize that they are not simply keeping the resisted taxes to profit from their resistance.
In 2016, the People’s Life Fund in Berkeley redirected $20,000 in interest and donated tax money to 16 community groups. Other alternative funds that make significant redirections of interest and/or resisted taxes each year include the People’s Life Fund in New York City, the Conscience and Military Tax Campaign, and New England War Tax Resistance. To read more about alternative funds and redirection in general, see our Redirection page.
Starting An Alternative Fund includes lots of food for thought about how to plan, structure, and administer an alternative fund. It includes stories about practical and legal issues that other funds have faced. It is not a prescriptive or legal guide. Each fund is different, and laws and institutional guidelines can change.
Starting an alternative fund, or redirecting war taxes collectively in any form, is a great way to bring people together around tax season. Let us know if you start a new alternative fund or redirection project this year!
Post by Erica