Ruth Benn was the Coordinator of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC), a position she held 2003 to 2018. She co-edited with Ed Hedemann the fourth and fifth editions of the book War Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military, published by the War Resisters League.
Ruth began dipping her toes into war tax resistance beginning in the early 1980s, while volunteering on peace campaigns with the American Friends Service Committee in Northampton, Massachusetts. Through Quaker history, materials from peace groups, and being in the vicinity of Pioneer Valley War Tax Resistance she found relief from the contradiction of working for peace and paying for war.
Ruth has a Masters in Education with a concentration in Peace Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1985 she moved to New York to work for Middle East Report, and then joined the staff of the War Resisters League in 1987 where she worked until 2000. She began refusing 100% of federal income taxes owed in 1989 and has filed and refused to send a check to the IRS each year since then. Ruth redirects taxes not paid to the federal government to organizations that feed the hungry, care for victims of war, house the homeless, and work for peace and justice. Ruth is active in the antiwar movement with New York City War Resisters League, organizing community education programs, working with coalitions, and participating in civil disobedience actions (besides war tax resistance).
As Coordinator of NWTRCC Ruth was in touch with war tax resisters throughout the U.S., coordinated national media work around tax day actions each April, and kept up with technical information that effects people involved in the civil disobedience action of refusing to pay federal taxes. Ruth regularly counsels people who are considering refusing to pay for war or who have run into problems with the IRS. She attended the International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns in the Netherlands (1989), Washington, D.C. (2000), and Manchester, England (2008).
- The Basics of War Tax Resistance: Why and How To Do It
- Stories of War Tax Resisters
- If You’re Working for Peace, Why Pay for War?
- The Federal Budget, Taxes, and Personal Choice