April 15, 2022
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0002
To Whom It May Concern:
Enclosed is my completed Form 1040 tax return for the year 2021 including the necessary schedules. I have underpaid for the year. This letter, along with the enclosed War Resisters League “pie chart,” explains why, as a matter of conscience, I am resisting paying war taxes and hence not including any payment for my unpaid tax liability.
I am not going to willingly or voluntarily pay for the war and militarism of the United States of America. Putin’s crimes in Ukraine don’t negate the dishonest and hypocritical ways that the United States uses taxes to foment war, prop up murderous regimes and defend destructive, dehumanizing extractive industries. Military hardware and personnel dominate expenditures when compared to other stated priorities, and that has only worsened since the beginning of the Ukraine War. The federal budget was already a drag, stalling the engines of positive social change. Now, more arms only will propel us faster to the precipice of armageddon.
Putin’s heinous destruction of Ukraine is unconscionable, but the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and other elsewhere should disqualify it from acting as the human rights champion of the world. United States actions increase harm and the likelihood that my worst fears will be realized: the devastation and aftermath of nuclear annihilation. Even if Putin uses nuclear weapons or causes a radioactive accident at a nuclear power plant, that still wouldn’t justify United States or allied use of nuclear weapons. United States use of nuclear weapons won’t make things better!
I am not fundamentally against taxation or paying for some things I disagree with as a member of society. At times I have paid part of my tax liability. For many more years I reduced by necessary income below levels that even required me to file a tax return. I registered with selective service as a conscientious objector, and I try to live by the adage of “living simply so that others may simply live.” If you want my money for this carceral state, you are going to have to take it from me.
James G. Haber