More than a Paycheck:News from the War Tax Resistance Movement

April 1997
[WTR Film to Air on TV April 15th]
[Tax Court Case to Test Religious Freedom Restoration Act]
[Palestinian Tax Resistance Update] [Counseling Notes]
[Legislative Updates] [International News] [Resources] [WTR Ideas and Actions]
[Midwest Military Tax Resisters Meet in Chicago] [Local Media Success]
[Local Group Reports] [War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund] [Perspective]
[About More than A Paycheck]


WTR Film to Air on TV April 15th
It's the film we've all been waiting for! An Act of Conscience tells the story of Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner, WTRs from Colrain, MA whose home was seized by the IRS. It will be aired on Cinemax on April 15th at 6:30 pm Eastern Time (check local listings for other time zones).

This 35 mm, 90-minute documentary chronicles the extraordinary series of events which took place over a five-year period as the couple nonviolently resisted the seizure of their home and were joined in the struggle by hundreds of community activists from across the United State in what became one of the longest sustained pacifist actions in recent history.

The film comes to us from Turning Tide Production in western Massachusetts, directed by Robbie Leppzer and narrated by Martin Sheen. It was one of only 16 films out of 200 aired at the Sundance Film Festival. For information on distribution, contact Turning Tide Production, PO Box 864, Wendell, MA, 01379, 508/544-8313.

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Tax Court Case to Test Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Priscilla Adams, an employee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends (PYM) and a NWTRCC contact person, has been a conscientious objector to war taxes for about 20 years (see Perspective on page 8). PYM, in accordance with their organizational policy, has been taking the current military portion of her tax withholding and setting it aside in escrow, informing the IRS that they do not want to be a party to violating her conscience.

In response to a recent IRS deficiency notice, with the help of lawyers Peter Goldberger and Jim Feldman of Ardmore, PA, Priscilla filed a case in Tax Court arguing that the assessment of income taxes from persons such as herself should be barred by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) passed by Congress in 1993, so long as the government could, but does not, offer to accommodate her objections by the "least restrictive means." Even if the Court decides that she does owe income taxes, the case argues that the penalties imposed by the IRS should be abated.

Priscilla's case is unfolding against the backdrop of a Supreme Court case on the RFRA that was argued in late February. The case, which involves a city in Texas disputing the right of a church to violate historic preservation laws, has brought up the broader question of the balance of power between Congress and the courts. It will be decided in early summer.

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Palestinian Tax Resistance Update
By Karen Marysdaughter
On a recent trip to Israel to visit family, my partner Larry and I spent a day in the Palestinian West Bank town of Beit Sahour with Elias Rishmawi, who was a leader in the Beit Sahour tax resistance movement during the intifada, or uprising, in the late 1980's and early 1990's. In 1994, NWTRCC raised money to send Elias to the International Conference on Peace Tax Campaigns and War Tax Resistance in Spain.

The area known as the West Bank has been occupied by Israeli armed forces since the Six-Day War in 1967. Currently, Palestinian travel to and from Israel is by permission only. Elias does not have a permit to come into Israel, so we met him on the other side of the Israeli military checkpoint just outside of Jerusalem and proceeded the few miles to Beit Sahour.

Beginning in 1988, almost 100% of the 10,000 inhabitants of Beit Sahour participated in a nonviolent campaign to refuse to pay taxes to the Israelis for their own occupation. As a result of the tax refusal, the town was subjected to confiscation of businesses, machinery and home furnishings, loss of jobs, telephone and driving privileges, imprisonment, blockades, curfews, and other forms of intimidation. The town organized to withstand these very repressive measures and maintained their resistance stance until late 1995 when the Palestinian Authority took over.

Elias, a pharmacist, was arrested and jailed on three different occasions. During a tax raid on Beit Sahour in 1989, Israeli soldiers loaded $150,000 worth of goods and equipment from his pharmacy onto military trucks and stored them in the hot sun, rendering the drugs unusable. Along with many others in the town, the contents of the Rishmawi home were confiscated. In response, Elias organized over one hundred merchants from around the West Bank to present a case to the Israeli Supreme Court. Their position was that the Israeli tax system in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank was illegal under international law, and that Israel was violating human rights in its tax enforcement. Although Elias and the other appellants never expected a successful conclusion in the court, the case did generate a lot of publicity in the press, forcing the Israeli government to publish a budget for the West Bank for the first time. The unsettled case was dropped when the Palestinian Authority took over.

I asked Elias's wife, Iman, how it was for her and their four children, John, Adham, Suzan, and Camil (currently ages 17 to 3) to have Elias in jail. She said it was very hard, and especially scary the last time when they came for him in the middle of the night. She remembered when Elias was in jail and the town was under curfew, so that no one was allowed to leave their homes. Suzan, about age six, was heading for the front door when Iman stopped her and said she couldn't go out. Suzan said she hoped they would arrest her so she could go be with her father. The boys supported Elias's actions and announced his arrests proudly at school.

In addition to Elias's work with the tax refusal movement, he helped to found the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement Between People. Its purpose is to bring Palestinians together with people from different nationalities to overcome stereotypes, prejudices, and fears, and to promote a just and peaceful solution for the Palestinian cause. Early in the intifada, Rapprochement organized visits of Israeli families to Beit Sahour; it has organized prayer vigils, candlelit marches, and visits to Beit Sahour from religious dignitaries such as the Moslem Mufti of Jerusalem and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. To this day Rapprochement continues regular evenings of dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli people.

Most of Beit Sahour is now under Palestinian Authority and the inhabitants are paying taxes to support the new government. Elias, after years of intense political activity, including many speaking engagements about his court case, is busy establishing a pharmaceutical distribution business with other members of his family. Because they lost everything in the tax raids, his current priority is to rebuild a financial base for them. He is keeping an astute eye on the Arafat government and considering what his role might be in this new situation. He paid his own way to the recent International PTC and WTR Conference in London in order to stay in touch with the international WTR movement.

Difficulties are far from over. Since the Palestinian Authority started taking control in December of 1995, the West Bank is now divided into pockets designated Area A, under Palestinian Authority control, Area B, under joint Israeli and Palestinian control, and Area C, under Israeli control. Beit Sahour has land in both Area A and Area C. Elias's family told us of the numerous "closures" they have experienced in the last year, when Israel shuts off Areas C so that no Palestinians can travel in or out. In Beit Sahour, the mayor lives in Area C, but his office is in Area A. The Rishmawis live in Area A, but Iman has family in Area C. Elias estimated that out of the past year, closures were in effect about half of the time. All through the Beit Sahour/Bethlehem area we saw big brown and yellow painted cement blocks that are used to block the roads when a closure is in effect.

We met Iman's parents who live in Gaza. Travel is only allowed between Gaza and the West Bank with a permit and they were unable to get one. They finally managed to get a permit through the intervention of a friend at an embassy, and then just hours before they were due to leave. Elias and Iman had plane tickets to go to the International Peace Tax Campaigns and War Tax Resistance Conference in London last November, but Elias couldn't get a permit to go to the airport, which is in Israel, until he hired a lawyer to advocate for him. Elias's sister lives in Lebanon; his mother has been unable to get a permit to visit her daughter and grandchildren.

In Jerusalem we visited the Alternative Information Center, on whose board Elias serves. Here we learned of Israelis who have organized many groups and activities in solidarity with the people of the West Bank and in support of a more just solution to the Palestinian dilemma. This, together with our observation of the political wisdom, courage, and endurance of the Rishmawi family, gave us hope for a nonviolent resolution to the situation.

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Counseling Notes
TRANSFEREE LIABILITY
Most war tax resisters are cautious about transferring property, especially if they have received a final demand and notice for payment from the IRS and a lien has arisen on their property. However, there is a section of the IRS code that applies to some property that is given away after a tax bill exists but before a final notice and demand. It is called transferee liability. It only applies if the transfer fits the local state's definition of "fraudulent conveyance," and usually only if the transfer made the resister totally uncollectable.

Arthur Harvey and Elizabeth Gravalos, whose agricultural land and home were auctioned off by the IRS last summer, gave a small portion of land to their daughter before they received a final notice and demand for payment. Now the IRS is claiming their daughter owes an amount equal to the value of the land (which they claim is $12,000) and threatening to collect from her. Arthur and Elizabeth are consulting with local lawyers. If their daughter appeals the notice, the burden of proof will be on the IRS to show that it was a fraudulent transfer under Maine state law.

NWTRCC knows of only one other transferee liability case in recent years, involving Artie Yeatman of Pennsylvania (reported in NWTRCC's newsletter in 1993 and earlier). In that case, Artie donated his house and land to the School of Living's (SoL) land trust after the IRS had removed a lien. The IRS subsequently refigured his bill, claiming he owed more taxes, and went after SoL as "transferee" for the value of the land. Artie made an offer in compromise to try to settle the bill, but it was rejected. In 1993 the IRS said they were going to refer the case to the Justice Department for court action to nullify the transfer of property. Artie and the SoL have heard nothing from them since.

RESPONSE TO A SUMMONS
Aaron Falbel of New England War Tax Resistance received a summons from the IRS on January 6 to appear January 22 and provide information. Aaron wrote a letter explaining that he wasn't going to appear and why he doesn't pay his taxes. At press time he had not yet heard back from the IRS. In some cases the IRS ignores the refusal to appear; if they wish they can get a court order for the resister to appear which, if ignored, could lead to contempt of court and jail. This has not happened in the WTR movement for quite some time.

IRA SEIZURE NOT THWARTED AFTER ALL
In our last newsletter we reported that a war tax resister had thwarted an IRS levy of her IRA account with Pax World Fund. Alas, there is another chapter to the story. After receiving a notice that the IRS was levying the IRA, she asked Pax World Fund to send her the money, which they mistakenly did. However, they later realized their error and contacted her (although in a friendly, non-hostile way), saying they would give the IRS information to help in collecting from her if she didn't send the money back. While not required by law, unless summonsed, to give the IRS information other than the questions on a levy form, apparently the Fund does not have a policy of refusing such information. Not wishing to have additional financial information disclosed to the IRS, the resister returned the money to the Fund. We assume it was subsequently sent to the IRS.

WHEN A LIEN IS NOT A LIEN
A war tax resister in New England starting receiving letters in December from law firms offering to help her with her IRS troubles. This usually means that a public lien has been filed by the IRS. The resister contacted the IRS and was told the IRS hadn't filed a lien on her, so she contacted one of the law firms to see where they got their information. They referred her to Banker and Tradesman's Magazine, which she looked up at the library. Sure enough, there was her name in the list of filed liens! The law office suggested that maybe the IRS was intending to file a lien on her and it had just gotten waylaid on some worker's desk.

With the news that a lien was apparently pending, the resister quickly arranged to sell the condo, for which she had just gotten a mortgage, to her partner, a non-resister (note that she sold the property, she didn't give it away, which should avoid any possibility of transferee liability). As of press time, a lien had still not been filed on her property.

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Peace Tax Fund Resources
The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (NCPTF) is releasing two new organizing resources: a bulletin board poster to help attract people to their Congressional District Contact (CDC) program and a "Peace Tax Fund Activist Guide." The Guide is a comprehensive collection of material to assist supporters with local education, outreach and lobbying.

Call or email today to request free copies of the CDC poster and for information on ordering the Activist Guide. NCPTF, 2121 Decatur Place NW, Washington, DC 20008-1923. Toll free telephone: (888)PEACE-TAX. Web: http://www.nonviolence.org/peacetax. Email: peacetaxfund@igc.org.

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International News
WAR TAX RESISTANCE WORK BEGINS IN HUNGARY AND INDIA
Gandhi-in-Action, an international group of nonviolent activists based in New Delhi, has initiated Conscience: The Peace Tax Campaign India. It will approach the government of India to pass legislation which would enable the citizens to have the freedom of conscience to divert part of their taxes for building peace and nonviolent defense in place of military defense.

The group has already started planning for the 7th International Conference on Peace Tax Campaigns and War Tax Resistance which they will host from December 29, 1998 to January 1, 1999. This will be the first time that an International PTC and WTR Conference has met outside of western Europe, and the planners are hoping for 20-25 delegates from Asia and the Far East.

For more information, contact Conscience: The Peace Tax Campaign India, c/o Gandhi-in-Action, Constructive Workers Home, B-29 Bhajanpura, New Delhi, 110053, India, email: anil.ask@gems.vsnl.net.in. The Coordinator is Professor Arya B. Bhardwaj.


NWTRCC also learned of a peace group in Hungary named Alba Kor, or Alba Circle, which has decided to take on the issue of conscientious objection to war taxes. Their 600 members have actively worked on conscientious objection to military service since the group's founding in 1990. In December of 1996 they set up a Peace/War Tax Working Group and contacted NWTRCC through the Internet. We sent them a packet of information and lots of good wishes.

For more information: Alba Kor, H-1461, Budapest, pf. 225, Hungary, email: alba@alba.zpok.hu.

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Resources
STAGES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION
Representatives of the historic peace churches are updating a flyer entitled, "Stages of Conscientious Objection to Military Taxes." This resource, primarily for Quaker, Mennonite, and Brethren audiences, will hopefully be available in time for April 15th. For more information or to order copies, contact the War Tax Concerns Support Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1515 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA, 19102, (215)241-7240.

FIVE DEADLY MYTHS
In addition to their annual update of the pie chart, "Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes" (see sample copy in this newsletter), War Resisters League has produced a new leaflet, "Five Deadly Myths About the Military." The red, white, and blue, half-page flyer also announces October 24, 1997, as A Day Without the Pentagon. Copies are available from WRL, 339 Lafayette St., New York, NY, 10012, (212)228-0450, email: wrl@igc.apc.org.

SIMPLE LIVING
The Winter 1997 issue of Voices, newsletter of the Rural Southern Voice for Peace (RSVP), has a number of excellent articles on simple living. Most of the writers are conscientious objectors to paying for war: Michael Fogler of Lexington, KY, Clare Hanrahan and Judy Conrad of the Appalachian Bioregion, Karl Meyer of Nashville, TN, and Geoff Huggins of Winchester, VA. To request a copy, contact RSVP, 1898 Hannah Branch Rd., Burnsville, NC, 28714, (704)675- 5933, email: rsvp@igc.apc.org.

TAX RESISTANCE AND THE DEATH PENALTY
The Quaker Abolitionist, newsletter of the Friends Committee to Abolish the Death Penalty, published two articles on "death and taxes" in their Fall, 1996 issue: "How not to subsidize the 'war on crime'" by Susan Van Haitsma of Austin, TX, and "To kill God. . . or break the law" by David Elliott of Ithaca, NY. Copies are available from the group at PO Box 18106, Washington, DC, 20036-1810, (301)881-8024, email: fcadp@aol.com. Web: http://www.quaker.org/fcadp.

WTR AND POPULAR FICTION!
Rosa Packard, NWTRCC area contact from Greenwich, CT, writes: "I walked into the Greenwich Public Library today and found a copy of a new and very well written mystery: Quaker Testimony by Irene Allen just published by St. Martins Press and with excellent reviews by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, etc. It is Irene Allen's third mystery featuring Elizabeth Elliot, clerk of Cambridge Friends Meeting as the sleuth. This time the book centers around war tax resistance and gives a fine picture of the witness and of pacifism at work not only in a Quaker context but other contexts as well, including Pax Christi. Chapters are prefaced by quotes from George Fox and William Penn, Yearly Meeting minutes and advices, the Bible, Elise Boulding etc. The Peace Tax Fund Bill is mentioned. Dissent around the witness both within and without the Quaker Meeting is also clearly presented and like Allen's other mysteries, the spiritual response to evil and to the murderer is different from other mysteries. I thought it a wonderful presentation. Has any one else read it or heard any reaction to it?"

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War Tax Resistance Ideas And Actions
TELEPHONE TAX INITIATIVE
Don Kaufman of Newton, KS wrote a proposal to his local church for the annual meeting agenda asking the church to consider redirecting their telephone excise tax away from the military and to peaceful purposes.

He says, "For years members have responded well to the stewardship of giving. Today as we consider the '97 budget we are focusing on the stewardship of spending -- how we hope to use these financial resources. Even though this congregation is perceived by many to be a 'peace church' it is not always clear that our behavior is consistent with our beliefs. . . Isn't it time that we as a people of faith pay attention by saying 'No' to this misuse of God's gift to us? Obviously this tax is a small part of our budget but a wonderful opportunity to declare the faith which motivates us and to witness for our Lord. If we could take this small risk in the name of Christ we might find the courage to do other acts of love."

SELF-EMPLOYMENT STRATEGY
A self-employed war tax resister from the midwest shared with NWTRCC her strategy of using an agent to deal with all her separate clients. All the checks go through the agent -- the agent's name is on the check and she has a bank account, which the WTR doesn't. The WTR invoices the agent regularly. Any organization or business who pays the agent more than $600 in a tax year files a 1099 form with the IRS; likewise, the agent files a 1099 form for the WTR at the end of the year.

The advantage, as the WTR sees it, is that if the IRS decides to levy her they go after just one person, the agent, rather than approaching the WTR's clients. It's therefore easier for her make a public event out of a levy. Plus the WTR will know right away when a levy notice appears, which might not happen if a client several hundred miles away gets levied.

The WTR believes an agent can be helpful if someone has a lot of clients and wants to consolidate IRS dealings over war tax resistance, especially if their clients are not geographically nearby. Someone could even change agents every year, since it takes the IRS a year to figure out who is paying the subcontractor. However, some folks find it more effective to lead the IRS on a merry chase with a multitude of clients.

WTRs shouldn't enter into such an arrangements with the idea that they're "safe" from IRS seizure, although some legal confusion may help. For those who fit the IRS definition of an independent contractor, this strategy may make sense.

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Midwest Military Tax Resisters Meet in Chicago
By Susan Balzer
The Chicago Area War Resisters Support Group hosted the 4th annual Midwest Regional Military Tax Resistance Conference the weekend of February 21-23. They brought together seasoned war tax resisters as well as a group of young children and a teenager, Max Harvey, who celebrated his seventeenth birthday with a cake. The February date made it easier for several farm families to join their city cousins.

Though the weather was wet, windy, and cold, the welcome was warm. Out of towners, who came from Maine, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Illinois, were offered gracious hospitality in homes, and everyone enjoyed the soup, salad and sandwiches served during the conference.

Around thirty braved the weather on Friday evening and shared their personal histories of war tax resistance.

On Saturday, participants heard from two panels and chose two of the following workshops: Alternative Investments (John Poole); Tax Resistance, Partners/Spouses and Children: The Challenges and Concerns (Bill Ramsey); Rural Living, Family, and the IRS (Arthur Harvey and Elizabeth Gravalos); and International Tax Resistance Conference and Peace Making (Susan Balzer).

Saturday evening's program was a participatory event for people of all ages which featured singing, poetry, reading peace tales, and a skit. Ask Laurie Hasbrook about her role as Dorothy Day at the gate of Heaven.

A Sunday morning pancake brunch at the St. Francis Catholic Worker house was a filling conclusion to the weekend. Participants also received invitations to local community worship, and some were treated to tours of Chicago. St. Louis "won" the toss of a coin to host next year's Midwest Conference!

At gatherings such as this one, when you have the "pro's" who may have resisted war taxes for fifty years, one can react in several ways: feeling inadequate, feeling united with others in an important cause, feeling challenged to learn everything you can, feeling inspired to do more at home, and feeling responsible to encourage others.

I personally experienced each of these feelings.

Remembering Clare Hanrahan's admonition to me at past NWTRCC conferences to not apologize for not being totally consistent or "pure" in my war tax resistance, I tried to tell my story and listen to others without ranking anyone on their degrees of faithfulness. I could appreciate the various paths we have taken in refusing to give allegiance to the god of war. The comradeship felt at the Chicago meeting united us. We made new friends, had deep conversations, and shared our joys and fears.

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Local Media Success
Although war tax resistance often has difficulty breaking into major media as a news story, local outlets may consider the actions of war tax C.O.'s in their own communities as newsworthy. For example, after her trip to London as a representative of NWTRCC to the International Conference on Peace Tax Campaigns and War Tax Resistance, Susan Balzer of Hesston, KS wrote an article for The Hesston Record and made the front page under the headline, "Making taxes work for peace, not war." The Mennonite Weekly Review also printed a front page article, "Resisting Taxes for War Fits Anabaptist Theology." Susan has in the past written articles about her trips to NWTRCC meetings.

Karen Marysdaughter wrote an article which was printed in her local paper, The Waldo Independent, about her visit to Beit Sahour and the tax resistance movement there (see similar article in this issue).

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Local Group Reports
LOS ANGELES, CA
The Southern California War Tax Alternative Fund decided to make some mid- year grants in January in addition to their usual April 15th grants. Depositors gave away a total of $1,000 to four groups - AIDS Healthcare (treatment assistance), Institute for Popular Education (literacy, English, and public affairs education), Pets are Wonderful Support (pets for people with AIDS), and Seeds of Simplicity (resources for childraising without commercialism). They have another $2,800 available for grants in April.

AUSTIN, TX
The Austin Conscientious Objectors to Military Taxation group has initiated a Tax Day Coalition with, thus far, the American Friends Service Committee, the Texas Alliance for Human Needs, Austin Peace and Justice Coalition, and the Austin Greens. They are planning to leaflet last-minute income tax filers from 4pm to 10pm on April 15th at the downtown and perhaps other post offices. Speakers will also share how government budget priorities are affecting their constituents. The group is considering other actions such as a newspaper ad, Op Eds, letters to the editor, and stickers that say: "It's April 15. Do you know where your tax dollars are going?"

BOSTON, MA
New England War Tax Resistance (NE/WTR) has invited Dave Dellinger to make remarks and initiate a discussion about the state of the war tax resistance movement and leftist movements as a whole. The public will be invited to this early April event. At NE/WTR's annual meeting, also in early April, they will make grants of refused tax money to local groups and hear from former grant recipients about the results of their financial support.

ASHEVILLE, NC
The Asheville, NC Taxes for Life! group is sponsoring the third annual "Fools of Conscience" gathering the weekend of April 4-6. The Friday evening portion in Asheville will be a public presentation; Saturday and Sunday in Celo, NC will be a time for conscientious objectors to war to share stories and mutual support. For more information, contact Taxes for Life!, PO Box 7641, Asheville, NC, 28802, (704)285-0010.

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War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund - Appeal #33
The latest appeal of the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund (WTRPF), dated December, 1996, is for a total of $2,551. Each member is asked to contribute $9.74. The previous appeal (#32) for $4,866 raised $4714.75 from 262 supporters.

The WTRPF, a project of the N. Manchester, IN Fellowship of Reconciliation, is an effort to share the financial burden faced by some war tax resisters among a larger group. Individuals who have had money seized by the IRS can request reimbursement for the penalties and interest, although not for the taxes themselves. Three or four times a year the Fund combines the current requests, divides it by the number of active members, and sends out an appeal.

As part of the current appeal, the WTRPF included many eloquent and thought- provoking excerpts from responses to a letter they printed in an earlier appeal about the effectiveness of war tax resistance.

For more information, or to become a member, contact the WTRPF, Box 25, N. Manchester, IN, 46962. Web: http://www.nonviolence.org/resource/wtrpf.htm.

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PERSPECTIVE: My War Tax Resistance Actions
By Priscilla Adams

When I left college in 1974, I joined the Movement for a New Society and earned below a taxable level, filing W-4's as exempt. When I began to earn enough to owe money, I refused to pay 100% and continued to file W-4's as exempt. After a paycheck was garnished I stopped filing my 1040's because I did not want to help them in any way to collect money.

A number of years after I started working for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) of the Society of Friends, IRS refused to accept my exempt W-4 and told PYM to start withholding taxes. I asked PYM to implement their policy to withhold and not forward the military percentage to the government (see article on page 1). As far as I know, I am the only person to use this policy since it was re-approved in the 1980's. IRS has taken the taxes, plus interest, many times from PYM's bank accounts. I have reimbursed PYM all interest charges and bank fees so they will have no additional costs.

In response to an IRS levy for other resisted taxes, I asked PYM to implement the policy to refuse to honor it. The IRS has not yet taken PYM to court for this money.

I loan all my refused tax money at no interest to social justice organizations, in case the IRS is able to collect levies and I need to repay PYM. I donate to such groups an equivalent amount of money to that which PYM withholds from my pay and forwards to the IRS (the non-military percentage).

My primary objective has been to follow my conscience and to keep as much money as possible from being used to maim or kill people and the planet. The biggest compromise I have made to this objective is to stay with my job at PYM and to allow money to be sent in to the IRS instead of leaving my job. This compromise is due to family considerations, needing a job that allows me to raise my daughters as I feel I need to.

The compromise was not made without anguish. Now, I also see an important WTR benefit to this choice. By staying with PYM and using their policies, I keep the issue before the Yearly Meeting membership - a large group of people who would not have as much cause to consider war tax resistance without my presence.

For many years my focus has been to draw as little attention as possible from IRS. Now, I feel that I am reversing this; instead of being on the defensive and responding to their actions, they have taken a step that gives me a unique opportunity to be on the offensive. Part of this is to be as visible as possible.

This feels like the right path. I still have many fears, but I also have a renewed confidence. Although I cannot know how all this will turn out, I am clear that I will try very hard to make a crack in the system and call attention to the tragic destruction of people and the planet which our vast military industrial complex perpetuates.

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About More than a Paycheck
More Than a Paycheck is a publication of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC), a clearinghouse and resource center for the conscientious war tax resistance movement in the United States. NWTRCC is a coalition of local, regional and national affiliate groups working on war tax related issues.

NWTRCC sees poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, economic exploitation, and environmental destruction as integrally linked with the militarism which we abhor. Through the redirection of our tax dollars, NWTRCC members contribute directly to the struggle for peace and justice for all.

Hard copy subscriptions to More Than a Paycheck (6 issues per year) are available for $10 per year. Editor: Karen Marysdaughter.

Past online issues: October 1996, December 1996, February 1997

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