It is time to resist with your taxes
|We didn’t get the
100,000 pledges but many of you want to resist anyway. Here
Step-by-step Tax Resistance Instructions
- 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
here for details on these figures)
- If you have gotten a federal income tax refund in the past or
anticipate one in 2008, you cannot resist unless you make adjustments
to your withholding or estimated taxes.
- Salaried employees can choose to increase the number of allowances
on their W-4 form at any time in order to owe federal income taxes
on April 15, 2008. Then you can choose how much you want to refuse.
You do not need to explain to your employer your increase in W-4
allowances. Take the form home and fill it out. For more information
on allowances, IRS regulations and consequences, see Practical
#1 or call to order a copy. You can restore the number of W-4
allowances to your original number at any time.
- If you are self-employed, and therefore don’t use a W-4
form, you must adjust the amount of estimated taxes you pay quarterly
in order to resist when you file.
How to File 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 being subject to 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. (Click
here for an example)
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.
- This guide is written for people who file and usually owe and
pay some federal income taxes.
- Please see the NWTRCC
publications page for information about living below the taxable
income and nonfiling/noncooperation with the IRS.
War tax resistance is an act of conscience or noncooperation.
While some may choose to set aside resisted taxes in case of
an IRS collection, many resisters redirect some or all of refused
taxes to a nonmilitary purpose. If possible redirect to a project
of your own choosing that promotes peace, or to the needs that
are neglected because of the funding of war.
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
Fear of the IRS and the uncertainty of consequences are common
— but lessened with support from other resisters.
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.