“The Customary Band of Pickets”

Line of pickets at IRS NYC

No troublesome incidents of any kind developed in the course of the day, although the customary band of pickets turned up outside the Forty-fifth Street headquarters for an hour at noon. Recruited by members of the Tax Refusal Committee of Peacemakers, of Sharonville, Ohio, were representatives of the War Resisters League, 5 Beekman Place, and The Catholic Worker, 223 Christie Street. They either refused to pay Federal income taxes or sympathized with those who did not because “the huge program of armaments can only lead to a third world war.” Weapons, it was claimed, eat up seven-eighths of the national budget. In Philadelphia, other groups of pacifists objected on the same grounds. Published: March 17, 1953. Copyright © The New […]

Tax Day Press Release – April 2021

NWTRCC friends and supporters, Below is our press release for Tax Day 2021. We now that Tax Day has been officially delayed until May 17, but many groups are still hosting actions or Zoom events around the original April 15 day. Feel free to adjust the press release below for your own use. If you are having a tax day action, but have not alerted the NWTRCC office, please email the details to nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org, or use the online form. As stated in the press release, we are asking war tax resisters to make their presence felt on the streets (if possible) and online. Please take pictures and video of your tax day actions and send us a copy. When posting […]

Questioning Death and Taxes

woman holding pink sign with black text: "Taxes For Healthcare NOT Warfare"

While there has been some comparison of military spending versus medical costs, it seems as though many are less willing to address the issue of societal sickness caused by military spending. It needs to be named, identified, and articulated. And even fewer people refuse to stop paying for death and destruction. At a recent webinar with U.N. officials, the Vatican called for disarmament in light of the health crisis experienced as a result of the coronavirus from a humanizing perspective: “The pandemic offers us a precious opportunity… prompts us to question how much the huge military expenditures are really able to guarantee the security of individual populations, of how much these resources could and should be allocated to investments to […]

Your Rights: Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

Who wants to hassle with the IRS. Of course it’s a pain in the behind dealing with an agency that ranges from bullying to inefficient to inconsistent in following their own procedures. But, if we want to make a statement about refusing to pay for war, hassles come with the territory and are actually the least of the risks that a resister could face. So I was distressed to read the warning in the last issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter about sending a letter with tax forms which might lead to hassles with the IRS. In a rare success for this form of resistance, we won for the right to send those letters expressing our beliefs, complaints, and reasons for refusal. […]

Military Budget of Little Comfort to Healthcare Workers

The most visible role of the U.S. military in the past year has been the fly overs of extremely expensive military bombers to express appreciation to healthcare workers beginning in May of 2020 and showing up at the Superbowl, typically a big advertising opportunity for the military. Even the sportscaster Joe Buck pointing out the obvious of “That’s your hard earned money and tax dollars at work!” and  questioned the amount of jet fuel used for the flyover. Health care workers sat in place of the cardboard cutouts at the Superbowl in an attempt to alleviate or distract from the tremendous toll taken on health care workers including  93% of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, […]

Can the IRS

“Can the IRS” was one of my favorite actions at the IRS. It was organized by John-Ed Croft, a homeless artist with a creative, activist mindset. This was the fall of 1987, and John-Ed was living in a squat at the time, but had also spent many a night in an unused building in Central Park and a lot of time in what he called a “cardboard condominium” in midtown Manhattan. John-Ed came by the War Resisters League office where I was working to ask for support for his latest campaign. The IRS was after him for more than $11,000 in back taxes, and he had decided to pay them “in the currency of the homeless.” He was organizing the […]

Militarism Sinks Social Progress

Tax Day July 2020 NYC

Tax season is here — well, almost, since the IRS announced that filing can start on Feb. 12. Now is the time when many of you start asking War Resisters League when the new pie chart flyer  will be ready. Hopefully you will be making plans for a safe and socially distanced public presence of some sort on tax day 2021, still expected to be Thursday, April 15. As you may recall, tax day 2020 was moved to July 15, and WRL ended up with lots of leftover pie charts because leafleting was limited or curtailed by pandemic concerns. Note that the back of last year’s pie chart was a call to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to mark the 75th anniversary […]

Hindsight, Looking Forward with 2020 Vision

As 2020 comes to a close, it seems like a good time to look back to where we have been; have clear eyes about where we are headed in order to forge a new path. By January 15th 2021, 5,ooo total U.S. troops are poised to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After a height of 170,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and over 19 years of war this appears to be welcome news to the longest ongoing war in U.S. history. A former Marine captain wrote “Two Costly Wars and a Legacy of Shame” in the New York Times that the US Defense Department alone spent $6 trillion dollars “costing each American taxpayer an estimate more than […]

Don’t Pay for What You Don’t Want

Nelson Homestead

“I don’t want to pay for what I don’t want. I won’t buy what I don’t want. I’m that way with everything. So, why not war? I don’t want it either…” — Juanita Nelson on Democracy Now! During this season of Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, big online retailer vans and trucks crowding streets and highways, advertisements for all manner of plastic stuff, etc., it’s a great time to remember Wally and Juanita Nelson. They lived lives centered around their belief in nonviolence as a way of life, a belief that led Wally to prison for refusing to fight in WWII. A belief that led the couple to refuse to pay taxes for war. A belief that evolved to an exemplary […]

NWTRCC Conference Report

Originally, our November 2020 conference was going to take place in Colorado Springs. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to meet online using Zoom instead. (Though I would like to thank Mary Sprunger-Froese and Rick Bickhart, who had put time and energy into the original planning of the conference.) If we had been able to meet in person, we might have seen some beautiful vistas. As it was, almost everyone had wonderful weather while we met online and some folks took their computers outside their homes during our conference. NWTRCC’s second online conference was a success. (Though to be clear, NWTRCC has had an online component to its conferences that allowed folks who were offsite to join us […]

Tax Resistance, Self-Employment and Health Insurance

DECISIONS, DECISIONS It’s a thorny problem when the complications of obtaining health insurance intersect with the desire to remain a nonfiling tax resister. This is exactly where I found myself when my luck ran out on the premium tax credit. As a self-employed freelancer, I have to purchase my own health insurance. For the past few years I was able to prove to the state’s insurance marketplace that my income was low enough to qualify by sending copies of my properly filled out but not filed tax forms. I knew it was a risky move when I started, and after the first year I thought I was in the clear. But now they’ve caught up with me and it’s not […]

All or Nothing Syndrome

Over these decades of doing war tax resistance, being in meetings about war tax resistance, counseling current or new resisters, etc., I’ve tried to argue against something I will call the “all or nothing syndrome.” “I can’t live below taxable income so I can’t resist.” “We’re having a baby so I have to stop resisting.” “I’m applying for a loan so I have to stop resisting.” “The IRS just took my bank account so I have to stop resisting.” “I like the idea but I can’t risk my job by becoming a war tax resister.” I don’t want to be snooty and judgmental about it. People hit a wall and feel there is no way around it for all kinds […]