Looking at Taxes for the Masses

hands holding up signs saying No More War Funding and War is Bankrupting U.S.

I recently spent a full weekend learning about tax preparation. A local organization held a 2 day training to prepare people to learn about tax law in order to assist people in preparing their taxes. The program is oriented towards people on the lower end of the earning scale so that they do not have to pay for tax preparers. The group estimated that they were able to save taxpayers in the area over $2 million in tax preparation fees.  Many of the participants in the training were students at local universities but many were also people who were wanting to obtain knowledge to assist friends and families with their taxes. I appreciated the depth of knowledge that was shared […]

A Freelancer’s Quandary

Freelance worker

Who doesn’t want to protect workers against uncaring, exploitative, profit-hungry employers? But…. there’s always a but….I’m just waking up to the fact that a wave of state laws intending to protect workers may also slam the door on freelance opportunities. The California law AB5 that just took effect pushes employers to categorize more workers as W-2 employees. Freelancers are scrambling, and articles indicate that many have lost good, paying work. Now I see a similar law is proposed in New York, where I live. There’s a Freelancers New York campaign against it, and their website announces, “Freelancers in New York watched in horror as AB5 passed hastily in California, destroying the livelihoods of thousands of independent contractors in one vague, […]

War Tax Resistance and the Environment: NWTRCC Conference Recap

“Yes to the Planet! No to War Taxes!” This was the theme for our semiannual NWTRCC conference in Oregon the first weekend of November. The conference brought together war tax resisters and environmental activists to lay some groundwork for future collaboration. Friday Night Panel Friday evening featured a panel of war and environmental activists from Eugene, Oregon. The evening was hosted by the Peace House in Portland. Susan Cundiff (former national board of Women’s Action for New Directions) examined the expanding military budget using a visual aid that spanned half the room! Susan Macomson (Pentagon vs Planet) spoke of the environmental harm caused by military bases in Washington State, including bombs being dropped in nature areas for target practice. Cody […]

Lien Times: Resisters, Regulations, and Rackets

why-me brochure for tax help

A friend came to dinner recently and brought along her folder of letters demanding payment of her war tax resisted taxes. She’s an activist with a list a mile long about why she’s glad to not be paying for the nefarious activities of the U.S. government. She’s determined to resist, but wanted to make sure the latest mailings did not signal some critical advance in IRS enforcement. For the first time in her 15 years of resistance, the IRS placed a lien against her property in local county offices last August. Others on the war tax resistance listserve have written about receiving liens in 2019, perhaps signaling some new flurry of “lien-ing” coming out of the IRS. WTR David Gross […]

Jewish Motivations on WTR at Yom Kippur

dark hands releasing a red heart with a white dove within it

In the tradtion of Yom Kippur and the emphasis on reflection we wanted to share a previous post concerning WTR from a Jewish perspective. Devar Tikkun, A Talk on Social Justice October 24th, 2013 | Personal motivations,Real Life Stories Post by Lawrence Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of English, Co-Director, Program in Peace & Justice Studies, Wellesley College I gave this talk Friday night, October 18th, in the context of a joyous shabbat service shared between the Moishe Kavod House and my congregation Havurat Shalom. It’s the tradition of MKH to have what they call a “devar tikkun,” a talk about social justice, and I was invited to give the devar tikkun on this occasion, which fact will explain some of the traits of the talk, […]

Paying for Policies We Protest?

Signs at Climate Strike Sept 2019

I carried my “Refuse to Pay Taxes” sign at a march to “welcome” the president to NYC and the UN the other day. The sign listed various reasons to refuse: family separation, ICE, border wall, hate, war. Can’t say anyone asked me about it. Maybe one of them wrote down the NWTRCC website? Maybe they searched the internet about refusing to pay taxes? Maybe they resist? Not sure there were any other signs about what people’s taxes are up to during this time when so many are out in the streets protesting pretty much everything that the current administration is doing.  I was thinking back to that period after the election, through the inauguration, and the first months of this […]

Building Positive Pillars for Peace

On July 30th, 2019 I had the great pleasure of participating in a live webinar featuring several think tanks and organizations around the world addressing the continued efforts to abolish nuclear weapons worldwide. The participants hailed from notable groups like Abolition 2000, the World Future Council, and the Institute for Economics and Peace. The presentations revolved around the audacity for peace and how peace is possible through combined international efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. The Institute for Economics and Peace proclaims two types of peace: positive and negative. Negative peace defined as the “absence of violence or fear of violence.” According to the Positive Peace Index Report 2019 written by the Institute for Economics and Peace, higher levels of negative […]

Confessions of an Anonymous War Tax Refuser

I grew up in a constant shadow of wars—from bomb shelters when I was a child, through Vietnam, the “cold war,” and ceaseless hot ones since then. When I discovered in my 30s that besides what we directly participated in, our government was also fomenting wars all over the world and supplying the arms for them, sometimes to both sides, I vowed myself to peace. That meant I would not help war efforts in any way, including paying for them or for weapons, buying products from companies which profited from war, and every other way that came to my attention. The only way I felt comfortable resisting taxes (other than the phone tax resistance during Vietnam) was to keep my […]

Frances Crowe, WTR and Anti-War Activist Extraordinaire

NWTRCC Coordinator Lincoln Rice wrote yesterday:  “Brandywine in Philadelphia sent out an email on their list today about Frances Crowe, who is in hospice. She’s been a longtime supporter of NWTRCC, whom some of you may know. Here is the note from Brandywine: “Yes, the amazing peacemaker, Frances Crowe, is in hospice. Friends and loved ones predict she is soon to leave us. Frances is still able to receive visitors and field phone calls. If you wish to say Godspeed and express your gratitude for her magnificent life you may do so. Her number is: 413 586-4950 [Editor’s Note: Frances passed away at her home on Tuesday August 27th. Here is link to a NY Times article about her life.] […]

War Tax Resister Profile: Howard Waitzkin and Mi Ra Lee

 [Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts from a letter that Howard Waitzkin and Mi Ra Lee wrote the IRS and included with their 2017 tax return. Thank you for sharing!] Statement of Resistance from Howard Waitzkin to the IRS for Tax Year 2017: I am a Conscientious Objector (CO) to war, based on religious and ethical beliefs, as recognized and certified 36 years ago by the U.S. Selective Service System. My beliefs as a CO have prevented me from participating in military service. However, I have devoted my whole professional career to many forms of alternative service, trying to meet the unmet health and mental health needs of active duty military personnel and veterans, as well as those of other […]

Bringing War Tax Resistance to Campaign Nonviolence and UN International Day of Peace!

During the hot dog days of August, I am kept busy prepping for the dedicated Week of Actions around the UN Day of International Peace on September 21.  Peace folks in San Diego have been part of the national actions for the past 4 years, including the Peace Resource Center of San Diego and the Franciscan Peace Connection.  Big shout-out to Pace e Bene for dreaming up Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions as a time of focused, united local actions to spread a culture of nonviolence.  It has grown from 200 to 2600 actions – a sign of the people’s movement. This year, the focus is on real climate action. I usually enjoy the busy work in anticipation of the […]

Loving Life on the Margins: An Interview with Suzanne Belote Shanley & Brayton Shanley

Earlier this year, Suzanne Belote Shanley & Brayton Shanley published a book about the history of the Agape Community, which they cofounded in 1982 in Ware, Massachusetts. The community is dedicated to prayer, voluntary simplicity, and gospel-centered nonviolent witness. War tax resistance has been a core aspect of the community from its founding. The book, Loving Life on the Margins, is not only a history of the community, but also the autobiography of Suzanne & Brayton. They were kind enough to be interviewed by NWTRCC to discuss their lives and the Agape Community.   What was your initial motivation for becoming war tax resisters? We were becoming an active part of the peace movement of the late 1970’s which was […]