How to Refuse to Pay for War
If you understand your motivations for war tax resistance, it can help you to get started. Read about types of war tax resistance or watch our 30-minute introductory film Death and Taxes.
Other factors will influence your method of resistance also: whether you are salaried, self-employed, off-the-grid, below taxable income, etc.
Don’t let yourself get bogged down by too much thinking either. You can always adjust your method as your resistance develops.
Methods of Resistance
Summarized below are a few war tax resistance methods. Some are more
convenient or more available to some people than to others. And some methods
are better than others at meeting particular goals. Each method also has a
different set of risks associated with it.
- File and refuse to pay your taxes. This involves filling out a 1040 form
and refusing to pay either a token amount of your taxes (e.g.
$5, $10, $50), or a percentage representing a “military” portion (see the
federal spending pie
chart), or the total amount (since a portion of whatever is paid goes
to the military). See File and Refuse for steps to get started.
- Refuse to file a tax return, which might involved trying to stay out of the system or "off the grid.". See “To File or Not To File A Tax Return”
- Earn less than the taxable income. This can involve having such a low
income that you are not required to file federal income tax returns
(approximately $10,300 for a single person in 2015), or it can mean filing and taking
deductions so that no income tax is owed. Note: Social Security taxes are owed on income of $600 and up. These taxes will be owed if you have not had them withheld at a job, and IRS collection is the same as for income taxes. See “Low Income/Simple Living as War Tax
- Resist the local telephone excise tax. The federal telephone excise tax
historically has been related to wars and excessive military spending. It
appears on local-only landline phone bills. Refusing to pay this tax is a low risk
method of war tax resistance. See Hang Up On War.
If you are angry about endless war and military spending but are not ready to resist, don't be silent. Here are some other options:
For more information
see the book War Tax Resistance: A
Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military, or contact a war tax resistance counselor.
Risks and Consequences of each method
Redirection — the bonus of resistance
Frequently Asked Questions