My Letter to the IRS

Hi! I hope all’s well on your end. My name’s Murtaza Nek, I’m a math and science tutor at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. I usually file my taxes using online e-filing software, but this time felt the need to communicate a message which wasn’t possible using said software. I’ve thus put in much extra effort to make sure this return was filed as accurately as possible.

I wanted to write to express a nuanced opinion regarding tax collection. First and foremost, I am not opposed to it at all in principle. I appreciate the essential role that collecting funds from a nation plays in helping run the organizational aspects of the nation: ensuring social programs are funded, ensuring there is a social safety net for the less fortunate (as I myself have benefited from), paying for roads and infrastructure, and even for providing international aid and ensuring national defense, when it is needed or warranted.

But to this last point, my lifelong experience as a reasonably well-informed taxpaying American citizen has been that there is a huge gap between what would be considered reasonable use of taxes and federal funds towards international affairs, and how taxes and federal funds are actually used in international affairs. The US uses an inordinate fraction of its federal budget on military spending, about 1/6 of it over the past decade for example, and about half of discretionary spending goes towards the military. The US spends about as much or more on its military than the next 10 countries combined, when listed in order of military spending.

Murtaza Nek (center) at NWTRCC’s May 2023 Conference in Indiana. Photo by Lincoln Rice.

Furthermore, this spending, while seemingly done for the purposes of (a) lining the pockets of military vendors and contractors who lobby Congress aggressively, (b) securing oil, natural gas, and other resources the US seems addicted to, and (c) ensuring economic dominance, e.g. by normalization of the US dollar as a de facto international currency, is not making the US safer in the long run, and I believe is increasingly alienating and isolating the US in the world stage.

What’s worse is that this military dominance is costing countless innocent lives. Examples in US history are abundant, but just one among many things going on now seems particularly egregious. The US government, in “emergency” and without Congressional approval or oversight, is rushing money and munitions, weapons of war, to a nation (Israel) found by the International Court of Justice to be plausibly engaged in acts of genocide.

By estimates found by the Israeli military itself to be reliable, Israel’s indiscriminate bombing and slaughter campaign has killed over 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza since October 7th, and hundreds more in the West Bank. Most of these deaths are of women and children, most of these deaths are of innocent civilians. The Israeli military has even killed their own hostages waving white flags. Israel’s military has repeatedly targeted journalists, healthcare workers, civilians waving white flags, injured hospital patients, and in a particularly egregious incident among far too many to count, assassinated a 5-year-old girl, Hind Rajab, waiting to be rescued by a pair of Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics who communicated and coordinated with the Israeli military their whereabouts and intentions, and who themselves were also assassinated. Of course the Israeli military subsequently claimed to not be aware of that situation, as they are known to lie repeatedly and then sometimes concede the truth after the heat is off them.

Image by Palestinian photographer Hosny Salah in Gaza from Pixabay.

In short, the US has become possibly irrevocably isolated from the rest of the world for supplying a genocidal military with countless billions of dollars in funding for weapons of war (crimes), used indiscriminately to kill innocent children, women and men. Even President Biden himself has been recently reported to have described the Israeli prime minister Netanyahu as being a “bad f***ing guy,” and younger Israeli military members are regularly bragging about their war crimes on TikTok and social media. The vengeance of the Israeli military is unfathomable, and I believe the consequences of their actions are isolating both Israel and the US from the rest of the world.

In an ideal world, I’d be a proud taxpayer. But I cannot be proud of even a penny of my tax dollars going towards rogue nations which are known to be committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. I am thus writing to express opposition to my tax dollars being used for military purposes of any kind. I know this is not in your jurisdiction as an IRS worker, but I needed to write this letter to speak my peace. I feel the world would be a better place if the federal government spent our tax dollars in ways that did not cost the lives of innocents, and prioritized the needs of its own citizens first.

Anyway, I hope this letter had some kind of positive effect, even if just one IRS worker looks at it. I wrap up by reiterating that my 1040 filing is a complete, accurate filing to the best of my knowledge, and there’s nothing frivolous about it, despite this very serious letter. Thank you for reading!

Sincerely, Murtaza Nek

4 thoughts on “My Letter to the IRS”

  1. Kit Miller says:

    Dear Murtaza
    Thank you so much for this letter. My husband and I were just talking about writing ours regarding the money that we are redirecting when this email came in. You’ve inspired us thank you!

  2. Shirley Whiteside says:

    Thank you for your words and actions Murtaza.

  3. Ruth Castaneda says:

    Dear Murtaza, thank you for sharing with us your letter to the IRS
    English is not my first language, and after reading your letter is not clear to me if you pay your taxes or not.
    Can you please tell me? Me too, I am a good taxpayer but finding out that my taxes are contributing to support the war against Gaza,
    I refuse to pay or al least ask that my taxes go fully to social help.
    Thanks again

  4. paula rogge says:

    Great letter Murtaza! You express just what I am feeling about the war on Gaza by Israel.

Comments are closed.