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WTRPF Issues New Appeal on Behalf of War Tax Resisters

by War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2003 at 10:03 AM

Press release from the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund announcing new funding appeal for war tax resisters.

August 25, 2003

CONTACT: War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund
Julie Garber, (260) 982-2083, jlgarber@ctlnet.com
Ken Brown, (260) 982-4315

WTRPF Issues New Appeal on Behalf of War Tax Resisters

NORTH MANCHESTER, IN – This year, the twentieth since its founding in 1983, the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund (WTRPF) has issued its 38th penalty appeal; this time on behalf of the four war tax resisters profiled below who have been assessed IRS penalties and interest of $16,671. War is a collective undertaking and by resisting it collectively, the WTRPF need only ask its 837 current contributors for $18.03 each. Since its inception, the WTRPF has collected almost $220,000 to help war tax resisters protest against US militarism. Because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, conscientious objection to military taxation has increased and WTRPF expects more resisters to ask the penalty fund for help.

Larry Rosenwald and Cynthia Schwan of Wellesley, Massachusetts, incurred $1,707 in penalties for the years 1998-2000. In their protest letter to the IRS, they write, “American tax dollars are being used to maintain sanctions on Iraq. The result of these sanctions has been the death of 500,000 children under the age of five; 4,000 more such children will die every month. Refusing taxes is doing little to avert this atrocity, perhaps; but paying taxes would be to support it, and that would be, for us, intolerable ... We end up having so horrifyingly large a military budget and so horrifyingly large a population in poverty not just because we vote for people who acquiesce in these things, but also because we ourselves, for the most part, carry out the policies of people in authority whether we believe in them or not; and we ask you to consider whether you believe in them, and whether you wish to carry them out.”

Kate of Massachusetts, was assessed $5,128 in statutory additions for the years 1993-94. Kate is a nurse who has been a tax resister all her working life. She says, “I give money away freely to the causes I believe in. In that way I pay taxes also. These causes do not receive tax dollar support. They are mostly non-profit agencies and small organizations that work with people who are tenants, who are poor, who need food or medical supplies, who are living in other countries oppressed and denied human rights by the policies of the U.S. government. In other words, I like to think of it as meeting my responsibilities in the world. Unlike the corporate tax cheats, I pay my dues. I just do it differently than the IRS policies and procedures demand.”

Gail of Detroit, Michigan, has paid $6,593 in interest and penalties for the years 1991-1997. In a 1991 letter to the IRS, Gail wrote: “I am convinced that nonviolent methods of conflict resolution would work much more effectively to bring about world peace. Saddam Hussein could not have become as dangerous as he was without millions in the US government-backed loans and aid for purchases of weapons. What our government needs is a radical change in its budgeting priorities and policies. I have decided to try to affect that change in budgeting in my own small way. My conscience dictates to me that I cannot pay for these and other weapons of war while others starve.”

Robert Randall of Brunswick, Georgia, has paid $3,243 in interest and penalties for military tax resistance from 1996-1999. In his 1999 protest letter, he reasons, “Because the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and certain U.S. treaty obligations to honor the religious practices of its citizens require that I not be forced to violate my faith, I do not, ‘to the best of my knowledge and belief,’ owe any tax. Therefore, in order to be able to sign the attached 1999 tax return, which is required in order for you to consider it filed, I have left blank line 68, AMOUNT YOU OWE, of the enclosed Form 1040. I do not owe you anything, for the government has provided me no way of paying this income tax which does not violate my religious faith.”

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