Support War Tax Resisters
By Byron Plumley and Shirley Whiteside of the Loretto Peace Committee
It is challenging to be a person of conscience in the United States when we know that our tax dollars fund war-making. The government has allowed for conscientious objector status during a military draft. The Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act would allow conscientious objectors to war to redirect tax money toward human needs rather than military spending. The bill has been presented to every Congress since 1972, many times by the late Representative John Lewis, and the bill has not had a hearing since 1995. Since Lewis’ death, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) sponsored the legislation to the 117th Congress.
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) was formed in 1982 with the commitment to maintain and build a national movement of resisters to military taxes. During the past 40 years peace activists have used creative options for withholding tax money from the federal government. Some choose to live below the federal poverty line so they are not required to pay taxes. Others do not file a tax return. Some file and withhold a portion of the amount owed or pay under protest. These actions can result in severe penalties from fines to the loss of property seized by the Internal Revenue Service. War tax resisters often redirect their owed tax money to causes in support of human rights and human needs such as issues related to the environment, immigration, housing, hunger, racism and the LGBTQIA community.
The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund manages a fund to help resisters pay fines and penalties if the IRS pursues payment. This is one way for people to support the actions of those who refuse to pay. If you’d like, you can choose to contribute to the NWTRCC here.
For information about the NWTRCC see www.nwtrcc.org.