ABOUT OUR CAMPAIGN
The tradition of civil disobedience involves breaking a law in
favor of a higher law. It is a statement of non-cooperation with
illegitimate authority in this case the Bush Administrations
use of our children's and grand children's tax dollars to wage war.
Because we are breaking the law, we are inviting a response from
tax authorities. The spirit of civil disobedience is to take a risk
and make a potential sacrifice because of ones strong moral
feelings. We believe this time has arrived for
a mass action of civil disobedience.
If war tax resisters file their taxes and pay a portion of them
and do not deface forms or include fraudulent information
the risks are very minimal. The most likely consequence is
that the IRS will take action to collect unpaid tax funds, with
possible late payment penalties. The IRS has the power to remove
funds from bank accounts (they already have the numbers) or garnish
wages. This will not involve a criminal judgment or going to court
but a collection order. Risks of criminal action are minimal.
But never before has a level of war tax resistance been proposed
so we cannot be absolutely certain as to how the U.S. government
will respond. Historically, they have sought
to avoid publicity.
The benefits of civil disobedience in this case
are enormous. Each resister writes a personal letter describing
their personal decision. This letter accompanies their tax return,
but would ideally be a public statement shared with friends, media,
Congressional representatives and posted on our web site.
The more people who undertake this witness, the more people will
be inspired to join them. It is a powerful personal statement and
action at a time when many of us feel personally powerless.
As a public witness, if we succeed, it will
be the single largest war tax resistance in U.S. history.
For more answers see our FAQs.
The Decision to
This campaign would be to refuse a percentage of your taxes equivalent
to the percentage of the federal budget used for war/military purposes.
This shows that you will not support that use. For example, you
might reduce the tax you pay by: 7% the proportion of 2008
income tax to be spent on the military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan,
or 31% the proportion of 2008 income tax slated for current
military expenses, or 51% the part spent on total military
Where Your Income Tax
Money Really Goes
(US Federal Budget - 2008 Fiscal Year)
Total Outlays (Federal Funds):
MILITARY: 51% and $1,228 billion
NON-MILITARY: 49% and $1,159 billion
HOW THESE FIGURES WERE DETERMINED
Current military includes Dept. of
Defense ($585 billion), the military portion from other departments
($122 billion), and an unbudgetted estimate of supplemental
appropriations ($20 billion). Past military represents
veterans benefits plus 80% of the interest on the debt.
For information on these figures,
as a War Tax Resister
- File your Form 1040 on or before April 15, 2008, accompanied
with a letter that explains your refusal to pay part (or all)
of your taxes. Fill out the form normally per the IRS filing instructions.
To avoid being considered a frivolous filer (an IRS category)
and frivolous filing penalties, do not make extraneous claims
or write your thoughts on the form.
- War tax resistance is an act of conscience, of civil disobedience.
This campaign is about refusal to pay for war, not promoting tax
evasion or challenging the constitutionality of taxation or war
- Carefully arrange your thoughts and include in your letter topics
such as conscience, economic and moral consequences of war, nonviolence
beliefs, misappropriation of public funds for harmful means, or
where your redirected taxes are going.
- Include your letter with your 1040 filing. Do not staple it
to the form.
- You may choose to forward a copy of the letter to local media,
elected officials, peace groups, etc.
- Do not expect any response from the IRS to the letter.
Consequences of Your War Tax Resistance
- IRS RESPONSE: Most likely, the IRS will send you a series of
computer-generated notices that list the balance due, possible
penalties, and with interest charges.
Potential negative consequences (if you continue
to refuse to pay, after getting IRS notices):
- The IRS has the power to collect from bank accounts and wages
after sending a notice that says they intend to levy.
- The IRS may not follow up at all if collection is difficult
or the amount of money is not worth the effort. War tax resisters
should be prepared, however, for the IRS to eventually take action.
- Fear of the IRS and the uncertainty of consequences are common
but lessened as the number of resisters increases.
Potential positive consequences:
- If enough people refuse, an antiwar message will be heard by
- You may be satisfied in having acted in a time-honored manner,
refusing cooperation with the military machine and helping direct
funds towards positive purposes.
- You may be satisfied in having brought your life into consonance
with your moral values.
- You may feel a sense of empowerment by taking concrete action
against the harmful actions of the government.