Index to Letters by Name

Manuel Shah (2004)

Los Angeles, CA 90013 15 April 2004 Dear Internal Revenue Service of United States Government I vehemently oppose the current U.S.-led attack and occupation of Iraq and the use of our military in Afghanistan. Roughly 50% of our income tax dollars are spent on the military. This expenditure of federal tax dollars drains resources from education programs, infrastructure and other basic needs. These conflicts have only gotten worse since they began and threats of aggression towards our country only appear to have increased. My conscience will not allow me to silently fund our government’s acts of violence. For such reasons I have withheld payment of $16.93 (31% of the $54.60 your calculations believe I “owe”) for my 2003 federal taxes. […]

Peter Meyers

Pete Meyers April 15, 2004 Internal Revenue Service Andover, MA 05501-0002 Dear Internal Revenue Service Person: I enclose this letter with my completed tax form as an explanation about why I cannot, in good conscience, pay the tax money that is demanded of me by the I.R.S. and the United States government,  $1,655.25, for the 2003 tax year. Approximately 15 years ago, I began – as a spiritual discipline, to monitor every penny that went in and out of my life. Out of this discipline, I have become increasingly aware that how I spend my money – as it symbolizes my life energy – is a very concrete expression of my purpose and intent in this world. I began to […]

David Meyers

April 15, 2004 Dear IRS: Another year has passed, and I notice that your work is still primarily to collect money to buy weapons to conduct wars and brutalize people all over the world. Even the money you collect that is not directly earmarked for war is most often used for nefarious activities, including for the surveillance of the populace here in the United States. Though your power as an institution is immense, there are many amongst us who see through your bureaucratic guise to the ugly face underneath, and refuse to submit to, take part in, or fund an inherently unjust, brutal regime that has plundered for far too long. My conscience is leading me to resist supporting the […]

Tamika Beyer 2003

The Hand April, 2003 This is a protest poem but I’m not sure to whom I should register my complaint. I would like to protest the dismembered hand draped across a tree branch close to a market in an old neighborhood of Baghdad bombed during its evening peak: packed with women vying for the few, meager vegetables to cook for the next day’s wartime meals. Unsightly. Gruesome. Horrific. How dare it enter my consciousness? Perhaps I should complain to the woman whose hand it once was. But it’s of no use-she’s dead. Then I must complain to the British reporter who documented the severed hand and other broken bodies in the marketplace. But he only wrote what he witnessed. We […]

Anna White

April 12, 2003 Internal Revenue Service Center Philadelphia, PA 19255-0015 To whom it may concern: Last year, $X in federal taxes were withheld from my paycheck. According to my completed income tax return, which is enclosed, I owe the federal government an additional $377. According to the U.S. Constitution, however, I say it is the government that owes me “no taxation without representation.” As a DC resident, it bothers me to hear my government talking about bringing “democracy” to the Middle East, while at the same time denying full democracy to the residents of our nation’s capitol. The residents of the capitols of 183 democracies around the world have representation in the national legislature equal to that enjoyed by their […]

Shirley Whiteside

I forgot to pay my income taxes this year. Why would a person do that, you say? Won’t they just steal it from you anyway? Let’s just say if all we have is today, it was what was right for me today. I was anxiously looking at the tax form on April 15—like a lot of Americans, judging by the lines at the Post Office at 10PM—and the first phone interruption came. It was a fundraising call from a national relief organization anticipating doing relief work in Iraq—a nation just bombed with weapons paid for by the same US tax dollars that I was preparing to send in. After destroying the infrastructure of this oil-rich nation in 1991 my country proceeded […]

Bronwyn Shiffer

April 15, 2003 Dear Internal Revenue Service of the United States: In recent years I have become more aware of where my tax money goes. This year, I have made a decision of conscience to redirect 47%, the amount of the federal budget spent on the military, of the federal taxes I owe toward building peace rather than waging war. I believe that money spent on the military could be better spent. Not only does the United States spend more on the military than any country in the world, but U.S. military spending equals the total military spending of Russia, China, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, and Israel combined. How can we […]

Peter Meyers (2003)

Internal Revenue Service Andover, MA 05501-0002 April 15 2003 Dear Internal Revenue Service Person: I enclose this letter with my completed tax form as an explanation about why I cannot, in good conscience, pay the tax money that is demanded of me by the I.R.S. and the United States government—$2,494.00—for the 2002 tax year. Approximately 14 years ago, I began—as a spiritual discipline, to monitor every penny that went in and out of my life. Out of this discipline, I have become increasingly aware that how I spend my money—as it symbolizes my life energy—is a very concrete expression of my purpose and intent in this world. I began to look at how some of the Federal tax dollars are […]

David Meyers (2003)

April 15, 2003 Dear IRS: I had a dream the other night. Maybe you had one like it too. It was based on one of those mind-numbing commercials for credit cards. That guy with the syrupy TV voice did the voice-over, and it went something like this: Cost to the US taxpayer of one Caterpillar D-9 Bulldozer, such as the one used by the Israeli army to run over and kill Palestinians (and their supporters) who are simply defending their homes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip: $1,000,000. Cost to the US taxpayer of one Armored Personnel Carrier, used to transport U.S. troops invading and occupying Iraq: $2,000,000. Cost to humanity — due to the American empire’s insatiable […]

Richard Loerky

April 14, 2003 Dear IRS, I agree 100% with our President Select, George W. Bush, that anyone who finances terrorist acts is just as guilty as the perpetrators. With this in mind, I conscientiously object to paying 50% of the income tax that reliable sources estimate is the amount the current regime in Washington is using to carry out its illegal, unconstitutional, immoral acts of premeditated murder of innocent people in Iraq and elsewhere. In the past I helped to finance such terrorist acts as the overthrow and murder of Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile, the training of terrorists on US soil who then returned to countries in Central and South America to torture and kill the […]

Mike & Carrie Koplinka-Loehr

The Internal Revenue Service C/o Andover Mass. Service Center 05501-0102 Copies to: Sen. Hillary R. Clinton Sen.Charles Schumer Rep. Maurice Hinchey April 11, 2003 Dear relevant representatives of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Please be advised that we are paying our federal and New York State income taxes under extreme protest. We believe that any taxes used to support the present military engagement in Iraq, and all the follow-up costs incurred, are based on an immoral and illegal “war of aggression” by our national leaders, who broke the U.S. Constitution (Article 6, see below) and several articles of the UN Charter. This decision placed every citizen of the United States in a crisis of conscience, since we each pledge regularly […]

Mary Ann C. Holtz (2003)

April 6, 2003 To the people working for the IRS: Regarding my 1040 for 2002, This is my annual letter of conscience. This year I am writing during the season of Lent and this terrible season of war. My hope is to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who so clearly taught the love of enemies, who refused to use violence in his work of liberating the captives. As his follower, I aim to live my life, by grace, as an expression of my belief in the victory of God’s way of love and this means that how I use my gifts, skills, material possessions, time, etc. needs to be determined by my primary allegiance to that reign of God. However, every […]