Taxes, Teens, and the Costs of War

I hate doing my taxes. For each of the last few weekends, “do your taxes” has been on the top of my to-do list. If I were to prioritize a list of things I procrastinate about, doing taxes might be on top. I’ve always done them myself since my situation is not particularly complicated, but I am usually rushing at the last minute to get it in the mail before or after our tax day demonstration. Probably the one thing that motivates me to finally get it done is so I can enclose the letter telling the government why I’m not paying (here’s one from 2003). If I wasn’t a war tax resister would I continue to file? My style […]

News from the 2018 Tax Season

thumbnail image of 2019 pie chart - click to go to WRL website and download complete file

It’s been a bit of a quiet tax season this year. Send us any news coverage you see, so we can add it to our website! Here’s what’s crossed my computer in the last few weeks – both some clear calls to refuse to pay war taxes, and some calls for reducing the military budget and redirecting these funds elsewhere. War Resisters League released the fiscal year 2019 pie chart, and things are looking worse this year for war spending than last. Although the percentage of your income tax dollar that goes to military spending has gone down from 48% to 47%, the total amount went up, from $1.45 to $1.5 trillion. Every pie chart includes information about NWTRCC. It’s […]

On Being Brave and War Tax Resistance

W-4 resistance info for war tax resisters

“You’re so brave. I wish I could do that.” It’s been almost ten years since I decided to start resisting war taxes. It’s been about eight years since I was actually able to start resisting the payment of some portion of my taxes. I don’t think of myself as a particularly brave person. Sometimes I find the potential consequences of resistance daunting, just as I did when I was a new resister (although the concerns are different now). On the other hand, some folks don’t feel any fear or nervousness after making this decision. That’s not me. Civil disobedience is sticking your neck out in some way. This particular form of it doesn’t always involve showing up in public somewhere, […]

The Path to War Tax Resistance

tax day war tax resistance leafleting

People who join NWTRCC’s e-list (subscribe here) receive a welcome email that asks how they found NWTRCC. Here are some responses stored up over the past year or so, which point out the importance of the internet — but don’t discount leafleting and talking to friends either! New people often say they have known about war tax resistance, or tax resistance, for a while but deciding to actually do it takes longer, or takes some confluence of factors. It is a reminder that much of what we do as organizers is plant seeds; there may not be instant gratification, but maybe readers who are organizers can take heart from some of these comments. I’ll post these without names, but thank […]

“Trespassing” Against War at Bath Iron Works

photo of nine people in winter clothes standing in a row indoors facing the camera, with the words "The Aegis 9" at the bottom of the photo

by Jason Rawn (In Part 1 of this story, Jason was among nine people [the Aegis 9] arrested for alleged “criminal trespass” at the Bath Iron Works warship facility on April 1, 2017. Jason also testified at a Maine legislature Taxation Committee hearing about a bill that would give $60 million in tax breaks to General Dynamics.) There’s a long history of opposition to building weapons at the Bath Iron Works facility. One of my codefendants in this trial entered the shipyard as a teen in the 90s and dumped blood on a warship. Previously, Daniel Berrigan, Vermont WTR Daniel Sicken, and others successfully performed two Plowshares actions at the yard. There have been vigils organized by Smilin’ Trees Disarmament […]

End “Taxpayer Generosity” for General Dynamics

by Jason Rawn On April 1, 2017, 9 of us were arrested at a “christening” of the latest nuclear-capable guided missile destroyer manufactured by WMD corporation General Dynamics at their Bath Iron Works facility in Maine. It was snowing that day, and I got there late. I had to walk 10 minutes through it from where I parked, and I got pretty wet as the snow turned to sleet. When I got to the protest, my clothes were too wet for tape to stick, so I was unable to attach all the great NASCAR-style corporate logos provided to me as “$en. An-gas King” by fellow protester and WTR Lisa “Power$uit” Savage, who attended the rally as Maine’s senior senator, Susan […]

New Resources for Divestment

screenshot of the Divest from War, Invest in People website at

NWTRCC has launched a brand new website for our Divest from War, Invest in People campaign! Visit us at Refusing to pay war taxes is divesting from state violence, fossil fuels, and military prisons. Unlike other forms of divestment, war tax refusal often involves civil disobedience. Personally divesting from militarism enables immediate reinvestment in people and the planet. This website is a great way to introduce people already interested or active in divestment movements to war tax resistance. It builds on the work that NWTRCC and its affiliates have been doing around divestment and war tax redirection since the 2016 tax season! The site includes: Q&A, links to NWTRCC resources, a sign-up form, and quotes from current resisters, like […]

Starting An Alternative Fund

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 […]

Doing the Right Thing is Never Futile

Last month, war tax resister Randy Kehler was interviewed on Local Bias, a public access TV show in Massachusetts, by guest host Marian Kelner.  Some highlights: “In 1969, I was giving a talk at an international conference of war resisters from around the world. And I had turned in my draft card, I had refused to cooperate with the Vietnam draft, and I knew I’d be heading to prison soon, and I said that in the talk. And unbeknownst to me, this guy named Daniel Ellsberg [was there], who was a combat marine officer who’d been in Vietnam, and he’d been fighting in the trenches in Vietnam and worked for the Pentagon and the Rand Corporation and high up […]

Creating An Affinity Group for Resistance and Support

Tax season is here! Calls and emails come to the NWTRCC office from people who don’t want their taxes going to war, border walls and deportations, a white supremacist system, tax laws made for the rich, a government set on speeding up climate change, etc. etc. etc. Despite the desire to resist, many of these people express a fear of doing it alone. Lots of people like the idea of a pledge: “I’ll resist when 10,000 others sign on to a tax resistance campaign over a particular issue.” There’s one about stopping war with North Korea now. On the one hand, most of us longtime resisters want to say yes, let’s go for it. On the other hand, there have […]

War tax resistance and…

Although I’ve been connected to NWTRCC since 2008, the group has been around since 1982. So I often am curious about what things used to be like. Yesterday, I started poking around the Wayback Machine’s saved versions of the NWTRCC website, which go back to August 2000. (The site was around for years before that.) I was immediately drawn to the Issues page – it’s something we don’t have on our current site. The page summarized some arguments for war tax resistance based on other issues people are concerned about, with subjects ranging from the Contract with America (a 1994 initiative of House Republicans to reduce government spending, cut taxes, enact term limits, build prisons, and slash welfare, among other […]

Happy New Year! Want to Be a War Tax Resister?

In 2017, many people discussed and organized around tax resistance to the Trump administration or to its policies (such as nuclear antagonism, the recent tax bill, and attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act). War tax resisters were the subject of a lot of media attention too! However, we didn’t get a lot of visible growth in the number of resisters. But it takes time for folks to become comfortable with the idea. 2018 is a new year! One of the biggest reasons to be a tax resister is the reason the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee has been around since 1982. Namely, the toxic militarism that persists no matter who is president. The waste of lives, dollars, and […]