War tax resisters were very prominent at the
annual School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) protest in Columbus,
Georgia. Robert Randall coordinated the NWTRCC literature table
and a team of war tax resisters from around the country helped
to hand out all 3,000 of our flyers during the weekend of November
David Waters from Birmingham, Alabama, brought along a big
supply of balloons, which floated about the crowds with the
message "Pay War Taxes? You Don't Gotta!"
The tabling team collected more than 102 requests for more
information about war tax resistance, most of the literature
was sold, and numerous in-person referrals to local counselors
and groups were made.
Some of our wtr folk, including NWTRCC people, were among
those who crossed onto the Fort property and were arrested.
They face stiff fines and six months in prison. At this writing,
trials are upcoming, and updates are available at the SOAW website:
Among the war tax resisters arrested were Karl Meyer of Nashville,
Tennessee, Peg Morton of Eugene, Oregon, and Kathy Kelly of
Chicago, Illinois. Karl was arrested a second time for refusing
to submit to the search being conducted on everyone entering
the demonstration area (a practice begun before the 2002 actions).
Kathy Kelly wrote of the rough treatment she received after
her arrest and commented that "most of us in the 'tank' inside
the Muskogee County jail acknowledged that during the rough
processing we wondered, 'What country do we live in?' We now
live in a country where Homeland Security funds pay for exercises
which train military and police units to control and intimidate
crowds, detainees, and arrestees using threat and force." (Her
article is on the web at: http://vitw.us/archives/000456.html).
The December 4, 2003, Eugene Weekly wrote a great profile
on Peg and her motivations for traveling to Georgia and facing
prison for crossing the line.
The balloon slogan, "You Don't Gotta" was especially appropriate
because it was the slogan used by Wally Nelson, who died at
age 93 in May 2002, and members of Pioneer Valley War Tax Resistance
(MA) in attendance brought along some of Wally's ashes to scatter
on Fort Benning. Wally's ashes were mixed with those of Chuck
Matthei, a Vietnam era draft resister, follower of Gandhi, and
close friend of Wally's, who died of cancer last year. Singer/songwriter
Charlie King announced the action from the stage, and explained
to the crowd that Wally and Chuck were continuing their resistance
even in death. Will some trainee at Fort Benning suddenly find
him- or herself stopped in their tracks by whispered voices
repeating the words "You Don't Gotta"?
Thanks to Robert Randall, Peg Morton, and Karen Brandow
for contributions to this report.
[Return to List of Headlines]
IRS Standard Deductions and Exemptions for 2004
IRS standard deduction and exemption amounts
are adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases. To figure
out how much you can earn in 2004 before owing income taxes,
identify your category and multiply the personal exemption by
the number of dependents you can claim, including yourself,
then add your standard deduction. For example, if you are married
and filing jointly, with two children, you would add $12,400
($3,100 x 4) to $9,700, equaling a taxable level of $22,100.
Below this amount your family would owe no income taxes for
the year. It is also the amount of income the IRS needs to leave
you to live on during the year if they are garnishing your assets.
Note: this formula does not apply to Social Security taxes.
| Married, filing jointly
| Married, filing separately
| Head of household
The additional personal exemption for those over age 65 or
blind remains at $950 for married taxpayers. For a single taxpayer
or head of household who is 65 or over or blind, the additional
standard deduction is $1,200.
The NWTRCC office seems to be receiving more and more calls on
the issue of Social Security, how to apply as a nonfiler, and
related issues. Local counselors would do well to read through
the article by a longtime resister writing as Payno Warbucks that
appeared in MTAP in December 2002. The article is still available
on the NWTRCC website at www.nwtrcc.org/mtap02/mtap1202.html#ssa
or call or write the office for a copy. And please keep the office
updated on any new information that you learn on this topic.
Cell Phone Service
Some people are finding that their service gets cut off for refusal
to pay the federal tax on cell phone service. There are so many
companies now, that the counseling we best offer suggests the
usual "persistence" or changing companies until an agreeable one
is found. Sample letters and other updates will be posted on the
in as timely a fashion as possible.
A recent success: After great persistence in talking with
company employees, Robert Randall received this information
from a Tax Compliance/Audits Manager at Sprint: "We can credit
this charge each month if you send us a letter stating your
refusal to pay each month. Please reference the account number,
invoice month, and amount you are disputing. Your can fax the
letter to 913-315-0326.
Today we are crediting your account
for $8.51, as requested in your letter." Another phone tax note:
Perhaps some of you have noticed the stories about the growing
availability of internet phone service. At this point, apparently,
there are no federal taxes on this service. Worth looking into!
[Return to List of Headlines]
We are grateful to the following groups who have given since
our last newsletter. Your support makes a difference! And thanks
to all the individuals who responded to our end-of-year appeal.
During the presidential elections there is a trend for contributions
to drop off considerably. If you have not given, please help
NWTRCC stay afloat during this important time!
Bethesda Friends Meeting, DC
Resources and Organizing for Social Change (ROSC), ME
New England War Tax Resisters League, CT
Citizen's Tax Moratorium, IA
Southern Arizona WTR/Nuclear Resister, AZ
Worcester-Pleasant St. Friends Meeting, MA
Thanks to the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and the Oregon Peace
Worker for their recent articles on Hang Up on War, Peace Taxes
and War Tax Resistance. There are probably others out there
too, but these happened to catch our eye.
[Return to List of Headlines]
Network List Updates
New network lists of counselors, affiliate groups, area contacts,
and alternative funds were updated and mailed out to affiliates
in November. The NWTRCC website includes contacts
for all listings with offices, and for individuals with email
addresses. If you would like the complete national list or the
list for your region, please contact the office for a copy.
Add new affiliate, Voices in the Wilderness, 1460 W. Carmen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640, (773)784-8065, www.vitw.org.
New Austin Website: http://www.acomt.org
Larry Bassett has moved from Maryland to Lynchburg, VA. New email:
NACC (Seattle). Due to a domain name scam/snafu http://nacc.info
no longer works. Please use http://riseup.net/nacc/
until further notice.
[Return to List of Headlines]
British Success with Conscience "Peace Tax Return"
The Peace Tax Campaign, based in London, England, reports great
success with their Peace Tax Return, called "How to Avoid Paying
for War," that they first produced in 2003. It is designed with
a Part A for people who do not file a return because their tax
has been withheld directly from their salaries (the PAYE-Pay As
You Earn-system in England) and for people who want to register
a protest but are not refusing to pay. Part B is for people whose
tax is self-assessed and plan to refuse to pay some or all of
their taxes. Finally there is a section to return to Conscience
for more information, and they have received hundreds of requests
for more information from people new to war tax resistance along
with requests for bundles of the form to give out. Their website
is a work in progress, but will include campaign information:
The group's Autumn 2003 newsletter, Conscience Update, also
reports on a few cases of note:
Long time campaigner and war tax resister, Roger Franklin,
was made bankrupt in late June. Roger has consistently refused
to pay any taxes which contribute to war. He was sentenced to
28 days in Gloucester Prison in 1995 and a further 21 days in
1996. He has been made bankrupt before but this time for a much
larger sum-several thousand pounds-which would have fuelled
the British military presence in Iraq.
He says: "I feel it is a remarkably nonviolent way to resist
but only, of course, for those with enough to survive the inevitable
financial costs and a conscience that can accept not having
given the penalty money to the peace movement. But money, inequality
and injustice are at the root of much violence. There will be
some in the peace movement who will say the money could have
been better spent in a different way but money doesn't solve
that much. I'd rather make a strong protest and make it quite
clear I cannot support things I consider extremely dangerous."
Meanwhile, in August, two more war tax resisters were taken
to court. Retired teacher Brenda Boughton from Oxford was given
28 days to pay her war taxes. She insists she will not hand
over the money but expects it to be taken from her bank account-a
process known as "garnishee."
Joe Jenkins, a Hereford author, was given only 14 days to
pay his war taxes. His defence was struck out as an 'abuse of
court' by Judge Coughlan and described as 'irrelevant' by Inland
Revenue. In his defence Joe argued that the defining feature
about rights, including the right to life, is that they are
absolute. He believes that there is a categorical imperative
that calls all taxpayers to accept that a single person's life,
including an Iraqi civilian's, has intrinsic value and worth
and cannot be traded off against the security of the majority;
particularly when other avenues have not been exhausted.
Joe has done tremendously well at attracting media attention.
He has appeared in interviews on BBC TV and radio and had extensive
local press coverage.
And this excerpted from a story about the Peace Tax Form
in The Guardian online edition, October 26, 2003:
Robin Brookes, a traditional toymaker from Devizes in Wiltshire,
angry at the Government's action in Iraq (what he calls
a "reckless and illegal war" and says he is waiting for a reassurance
from the Revenue that his money will not support further military
action. "I am not against paying tax. I'm keeping the money
in a separate account, and I'll voluntarily pay it when I see
a convincing change in our Government's approach to world problems,"
His stand has not impressed the Revenue, which is treating
the amount as overdue tax and is adding interest to his bill
in the usual way. It also led him to an appearance in the Magistrates'
Court in Chippenham on 13 October, where he was given three
months to pay up.
Brookes says he is considering his options but is becoming
resigned to an eventual visit from bailiffs or an attachment
order on his bank account. "In all conscience, I just can't
say, 'All right then, I'll write a cheque'," he says. And next
tax year, he anticipates making the same principled stand. "I
want to live under a Government which pro-actively seeks to
resolve conflicts long before they escalate into war. We should
have the right to have the part of our taxes spent on the military
diverted to peace-building activities," he says.
[Return to List of Headlines]
Good Food, Good Company in Chicago
by Jessica Stewart
Editor's Note: The label under the this article's picture
in the print version of the newsletter had the name Rey Gonzales
as one of the musicians. His correct name is Rey Hernandez.
The November 2003 meeting of the National War Tax Resistance
Coordinating Committee was held in Chicago at Quaker House in
the Hyde Park neighborhood. It is a beautiful old house, and
I found the accommodations to be excellent. Finian, my one year
old son, and I were thankful for the great child care room.
A big thank you goes out to Brad Lyttle who did a lot of organizing
for the weekend, secured the Quaker House, and has been active
for several years in renovating it.
The weekend began with the Friday meeting of the Administrative
Committee, of which I am a member. We discussed various issues
and came up with recommendations for Sunday's coordinating committee
Friday evening the actual conference got started with introductions
and people speaking about where they had been with war tax resistance
in 1983 and/or a little bit about themselves and their history
of war tax resistance. Karl Meyer, who was at the 1983 Chicago
meeting of NWTRCC, spoke about the history of war tax resistance
in Chicago and nationally. Brad welcomed us all to Chicago and
gave us a brief history of organizing for peace and justice
in Chicago. It was great to hear how so many folks have been
committed to peace and justice for so long and keep on keeping
The main presentation of the weekend was "The Cost of War."
It was given by Mark Frey of Christian Peacemaker Teams and
Danny Muller of Voices in the Wilderness. They both spoke about
the international peace and justice work of their organizations
and about the current situation in Iraq. Mark and Danny and
others also spoke about U.S. tax dollars at work in Colombia
and Palestine. Since becoming involved in war tax resistance
I have observed how many longtime resisters are inspired by
their experiences of working in countries that have suffered
under United States foreign policy. That was certainly my experience
in Palestine, where I and other members of my family were told
many times that it was our tax dollars paying for the destruction
and killing. We were glad to be war tax resisters during those
moments and since.
Danny spoke about how Voices was founded by war tax resisters.
The weekend of the conference, my partner was leaving for Iraq,
and the sessions really inspired me to think how we can use
delegation experiences as a war tax resistance organizing tool.
There were also sessions on aging and social security, issues
in war tax resistance counseling, jobs, employment and earning
a living, and support for war tax resisters. I attended one
on aging and social security, facilitated by Mary Loehr. There
was discussion about building communities of support. Mary spoke
about the Ithaca Health Fund, a grassroots, community funded healthcare cost assistance program
than anyone can join. David Waters spoke about receiving health
care in Cuba, where it is good and cheap.
We ate excellent food provided by Katie Feit and Mike Bremer
and their three-year-old son Noah. My enjoyment of the weekend
was definitely enhanced by having a satisfied palate and full
tummy. Mike took those of us willing to get up at 6 a.m. for
a tour and breakfast at an open air Mexican market. I had several
very hot, steaming cups of café con leche and a chile relleno.
Anything you could possibly ever want was for sale at this market.
It was fully worth getting up so early and braving the cold.
On Sunday morning, following our foray to the market, we had
the Coordinating Committee meeting. Ruth Benn gave a report
on her first six months at NWTRCC. In it, she talked about the
Hang Up on War campaign. It is a web based effort, staffed by
Iraq Pledge of Resistance to get peace activists to resist paying
the telephone tax. The CC agreed that NWTRCC endorse this project,
which is also supported by United for Peace and Justice, Peace
Action, AFSC and others. We approved two new brochures: a revision
of the basic and "Why aren't all peace activists war tax resisters."
They are both great brochures and will soon be available from
NWTRCC. Throughout the weekend, there was discussion about how
to strengthen NWTRCC's work and increase its visibility in the
peace movement. Towards that end, we approved a proposal to
streamline the endorsement process for big marches and demonstrations.
There were numerous other decisions, including a new budget,
which added a bit extra to literature production, but otherwise
remained at its modest levels. Readers who are interested are
welcome to ask the NWTRCC office for a copy.
For me, Finian and several others, the weekend concluded with
an exciting driving tour of Chicago, given by Brad Lyttle, which
included Haymarket Square and Hull House. I really enjoyed the
opportunity to come together with war tax resisters from all
over the country and deepen our commitment to refusing to pay
for killing. The May meeting of NWTRCC will be in Colorado Springs,
May 7-9, 2004 and is sponsored by Citizens for Peace in Space.
I hope to see you there.
Nominations are needed for the NWTRCC Administrative Committee.
Affiliates should discuss this at upcoming meetings, and if you
as an individual have an interest in being more involved, you
are welcome to nominate yourself. The Administative Committee
works closely with the Coordinator between national meetings,
keeps updated on her work by phone and email, consults with her
when issues need clarification, and prepares for and facilitates
the twice yearly Coordinating Committee meetings in May and November.
full members serve for two years; alternates serve for one year
and generally move into full positions for one term (three years
total). Members will be chosen at the May 7-9, 2004 meeting, and
terms start June 1. Please contact the office ASAP or by early
March if you are interested, or if you or your group has someone
to nominate. We will follow up with more details.
Friend or Foe?
The Patriot Network, a right-wing anti-tax group, included the
following note at the bottom of their page discussing W-4 forms:
"Do you think that Patriots are the only ones not paying taxes?
Along with some of the richest families in America, consider
the following: www.nwtrcc.org."
Yes, a direct link to the NWTRCC site, and not really a complimentary
one at that.
The Patriots are not friends of the IRS (variously referred
to as "Instant Robbery Squad," "lying, theiving, tax collectors,"
and "bureauRats"), and say their purpose is a return to Constitutional
government. They call for "a good old-fashioed tax revolt" to
wrest the government away from "the free lunch crowd." One of
their favorite slogans is "Taxes are revolting ... why aren't
[Return to List of Headlines]
Books at Bulk Rates!
War Tax Resistance: A Guide to WithholdingYour Support from
the Military, published by the War Resisters League, can be
purchased from the NWTRCC office with bulk discounts. 1-3 copies
are $15 each plus $2 postage per copy. Bulk rates begin with orders
of 4 copies: 4-10 are $10 each (33% discount) and more than 10
copies are $9 each (40% discount). Postage will be added to each
order. Very large orders (20 copies+) should still go through
the War Resisters League office in Manhattan.
"Why Isn't Everyone Who's for Peace a War Tax Resister?"
In final production now, the brochure, which gives short answers
to common concerns, should be available soon. Single copies: free;
15¢ each for small orders, or $12/100 (12¢ each for over 100),
from the NWTRCC office.
Pricing has changed on the series. Single copies of each are
now $1, up from 65¢. Bulk rates for affiliates remain the same,
at 50¢ each. As a reminder, the series consists of #1: Controlling
Federal Tax Withholding; #2: To File or Not to File an
Income Tax Return; #3: How to Resist Collection, or Make
the Most of Collection When It Occurs; #4: Self-employment
- An Effective Path for War Tax Refusal; #5: Low Income/Simple
Living as War Tax Resistance; #6: Organizational War
Tax Resistance: Employers, Contractors, & Financial Institutions.
We are hoping that a committee formed at the last Coordinating
Committee meeting will be producing #7 within the year on the
topic of aging and war tax resistance, covering such issues
as social security, health insurance, etc.
Close Out Special
Copies of the 1988 Handbook on Military Taxes & Conscience
(222 pages) published by Friends Committee on War Tax Concerns
and edited by Linda Coffin are available from the NWTRCC office.
The book still offers very useful for background on Quakers and
war tax resistance, philosophical considerations, Biblical and
religious arguments, and considerations on facing the consequences
of resistance. Single copies are $3 postpaid.
WTR Parents Wanted
Baby Bloc is looking for submissions for an activist parent's
handbook. They especially want something from war tax resisting
parents. Get involved (they have great tee-shirts too).
Contact them for all the details: Baby Bloc, c/o Guadalupe
House, 1417 So. G. St., Tacoma, WA 98405, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to longtime war tax resister and former NWTRCC
Administrative Committee member, Clark Hanjian, who has published
a book, The Sovrien: An Exploration of the Right to Be Stateless.
The book describes statelessness in two forms: the unintentionally
stateless person, who lacks citizenship against their will, and
the intentionally stateless person, who chooses to live as a citizen
of no country-both sovereign and alien, thus "sovrien." Clark
renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1985, and his book examines
the advantages and disadvantages of this choice and the responsibilities
that go with it.
The book is available for $25 ($30 outside the U.S.) from
Clark Hanjian, PO Box 4594, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or see
[Return to List of Headlines]
Get Ready for April 15, 2004
Joanne Sheehan, WRL New England, wrote up some April 15 action
ideas last year that appear on the War Resisters League website,
http://www.warresisters.org/tax-day_ideas.htm. It's a good list
of many tried and true events-penny polls, giving out pie, burning
tax forms-that can remind organizers of actions they haven't done
in a while or spark new ideas. 2004 is a good year to go to a
budget hearing at a City Council or school board to talk about
the federal budget. Joanne is thinking of adding a jar for Halliburton
to their penny poll this year or having fake mailboxes where people
could file their taxes "Direct to Bechtel" to put emphasis on
who's profiting from taxpayers money.
Axis of Peace
The Axis of Peace campaign, which encourages tax redirection in
small and symbolic amounts such as $9.11 or $91.11, was launched
by war tax resisters in the Northwest in 2002. As reported in
the past, the campaign has been slow to grow, but organizers are
looking to 2004 to make some gains.
John Chisholm reports in the Autumn 2003 Nonviolent Action
Community of Cascadia newsletter that new ideas are bubbling
forth in the form of creating "redirection groups." A member
of the Western Washington Veterans for Peace is appealing to
his fellow veteran activists to redirect a symbolic amount to
the Rachel Corrie Foundation, established to commemorate Rachel,
who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while attempting to block
the razing of a Palestinian home. Churches and other collections
of people could form redirection groups and pool their resisted
money to make significant contributions to drug treatment facilities,
war victims support projects, environmental protections funds,
etc. Redirection groups could compose a common letter of "protest
and redirection intent" that each person would include with
their tax returns and copy to government officials. By establishing
a redirection group, an ongoing support network is created at
the same time.
For more information on the Axis of Peace see the website
or contact the NACC office:4554 12th Ave., NE, Seattle, WA 98105,
(206) 547-0952, or email@example.com.
Check out the new Northern California War Tax Resistance (NCWTR)
website at http://www.nowartax.org.
They are eager for your feedback as they develop the site further,
and would appreciate links to other peace and justice sites.
NCWTR is also busily preparing for tax season. They reported
high attendance at workshops last year and have already received
requests for workshops much earlier than in previous years.
Introductory workshops have been set for February 8 in San Francisco,
February 22 in Davis, and March 27 in Berkeley, along with plans
for a war tax resistance contingent in the March 20, Global
Day of Action, march in San Francisco.
For more information contact them at (510) 843-9897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Effort in NYC
City Council member Bill Perkins (D-central Harlem) has embraced
the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund and is working together with
the Riverside Church and the Global Justice and Peace Ministry
in New York City to pass a City Council resolution of support
for the legislation. They are just getting started, but hope to
use this as a model for other cities. Help is needed from all
folks in New York City to push this along.
For more information contact: Neena Das of the Global Justice
and Peace Ministry, 253 Lenox Ave, #2, New York, NY 10027, email@example.com.
The number for Bill Perkins' office is 212-662-4440 and Riverside
Church is 212-870-6853.
[Return to List of Headlines]
My War Tax Resistance Journey
by Carol Moore
During the 1960s I made the transition from pro-Vietnam War
loyal American to anti-authoritarian peacenik through the not
unusual combination of reading, reacting to mounting violence
and injustice and listening to lots of rock and roll. However,
no one ever handed me the right leaflet, so while I attended
a few antiwar meetings and protests over the years, I did not
become a committed peace activist until 1979 when I joined the
thriving antinuclear movement.
In 1975, while living in New York City, I was involved in
radical feminism and political comedy, song-writing and play
writing. I started supporting myself working off the books.
Come April 15, 1976, I found that I owed the IRS more than $1000.
I worked double shifts for two months to raise the money. As
I sent the $1,000 off-STILL the largest check I've ever written-all
I could think was that the money would pay for one big mortar
shell that might kill a child or a family. Vietnam might be
over, but who knew where the U.S. military would go next?
The next three years I refused to work overtime to pay taxes
that might be used for such purposes. To assuage my fear of
the IRS, I promised myself I'd pay them "when I got rich" off
my artistic endeavors.
I had one instructive "psychotic episode" after two people
in a row warned me the IRS was going to put me in prison. I
snapped and became convinced the IRS was about to grab my meager
possessions. I moved my valuables into a spare room fixed up
as my "roommate's" room to "fool" the IRS! Luckily, I soon ran
into someone who had had many tangles with the IRS. He reassured
me the IRS first had to put a lien on my assets and that for
a $2,000 debt they don't take your stereo and second hand coat-or
put you in prison. His assurances broke my paranoid spell-and
helped bolster me for what was to come.
A few months later I was awakened from a dream about playing
cards with the girls in prison by the sound of the doorbell.
You guessed it, the IRS! I begged poverty and foolishly gave
him my bank account number. A few days later they seized the
account. Soon after I met with agents in their offices and arranged
for a $30-dollar-a-Month payment schedule. After a few months
I got angry at something the government did and stopped paying.
I didn't hear from them again for a few more years.
In 1979, after the Three Mile Island incident, I finally hooked
up with anti-nuclear and peace activists and soon converted
from confused Democrat to Gandhian decentralist libertarian.
After a few years of procrastination, I went to my first New
York City war tax resisters meeting, followed quickly by the
1982 organizing meeting of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating
Committee in Washington, DC.
Moving to Los Angeles soon after, I found great comradery
and support in its group of long time resisters, including Joe
Maizlish. That was just the beginning of my long career of handing
out DON'T PAY WAR TAXES!! leaflets and writing the IRS every
year telling them why I sent no money with my return.
In Los Angeles I started working temporary or short-term jobs
and claiming the maximum number of deductions so I would pay
no taxes. I learned through a couple pay garnishes that it takes
a year to eighteen months for the IRS to catchup with you at
your temporary agency or permanent job.
They caught me at one permanent job after just a year. I immediately
gave my two weeks notice. The bookkeeper gave me forms to fill
out so the IRS could calculate how much to garnish. Noticing
the forms permitted one to claim dependents, I wrote down the
full number allowed, claiming Mohandas G. Moore, Gandhi Moore,
Martin .K. Moore, Corretta S.K. Moore, etc. The bookkeeper looked
at me strangely, but filed the paperwork. Miraculously I kept
most of my paycheck!
In 1987, just before I left Los Angeles, I received written
notification to show at their offices. Their typist had erred
and transposed the notification date and the appointment date.
By this time I'd grown quite cocky, explaining I'd come to their
meeting even though the document was not valid because of the
date error-and telling them I refused to pay to boot! Reading
the agent's notes on me as he scribbled, I noticed he'd previously
written "Tax Party Protester." Knowing that the IRS routinely
gave "right wing" tax resisters jail time, while going so much
easier on War Tax Resisters, I demanded that he scratch that
out and write "War Tax Resister." He did so.
I'd been in Washington, D.C., only a few months when I got
an urgent letter from the IRS claiming I had not appeared for
my Los Angeles meeting. However, the meeting was uneventful
as I showed them the evidence I had met with the IRS and again
refused to pay. I then hooked up with the D.C. War Tax Resisters
who informed me I could bring friends to such meetings for support.
Unfortunately I haven't been called in since! The fact that
I never pick up certified letters at the post office unless
I am expecting them and never respond to their requests to call
an agent may have something to do with that.
Frankly, I have not been as pro-active a resister as I might
be. However, in July 2000 I did join six other war tax resisters
from around the nation in attempting to enter the Washington
IRS headquarters to "invite prosecution for failure to comply
with tax regulations." So hopefully they still have my letter,
complete with social security number! Over the years I have
continued doing temporary secretarial work, supplemented that
with selling peace buttons and continued to get only four or
five letters and notices a year from the IRS. Of course, after
the September 11 attacks, and with the passage of the Patriot
Act, it has been just a matter of time before the IRS starts
to ask a lot more questions of us resisters.
The main thing I have noticed is the IRS will no longer just
accept my claim of having made a certain amount of money. They
now want evidence. Long ago I stopped sending in my W-2 forms
because it helped them find my employer and garnish me more
quickly. This year was the first the IRS demanded W-2s or 1099s
and refused to accept my 2001 tax return until they got them.
In the year 2002 I made and declared under $3,000 in income,
well below the taxable level However, they still refused to
accept my return unless I sent in W-2s or 1099s. Also, for the
first time in 15 odd years, they ruled my writing "peace activist"
as my occupation on my return was "frivolous." I wrote back
explaining I made only cash selling peace buttons and that I'd
changed my occupation to "peace button sales." evidently that
Now that Patriot Act II has passed and the government effectively
can snoop into any account held by any American for any reason,
we may all start getting a lot more queries. So don't forget
when you are meeting with the IRS, bring war tax resistance
supporters and wear peace and Gandhi t-shirts and buttons. Let
them know which side we are on-the side of nonviolence and peace.
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