Vegan Action #75

    World War III.  We have taken to the streets and expressed our feeling of protest but what else can we do?  How about not funding the war.  I have to digress from the specific vegan agenda and address the war and the immediate necessity for all of us to not participate in paying for this war.  If you work and pay federal taxes you are funding this and future use of arms and weapons against other people by the u.s.  Please do something today and become a War Tax Resister.  When you fill out that W4 form when you first get hired you are asked to fill out the number of exemptions and (if applicable) exempt yourself from federal taxes.  Yes, this is illegal but there is no other way to not have this tax removed from your paycheck.  Even if you work part time or only have a small amount taken out you can take a stand against funding war.  Here is further information for you, do this right away! Why use an illegal method to oppose the war?  Many people feel it is more important to violate a law than to violate their conscience when the two conflict.  Many people feel that legal protests are frequently ignored and do not have an immediate effect.  RESISTING taxes registers a protest that the government cannot ignore.  Furthermore, open conscientious breaking of a law often generates public curiosity, affording resisters more opportunities to present views.  Is this an act of civil disobedience?  That is exactly what it is and historically civil disobedience has had a strong impact in political movements.  What is to be gained from resisting federal taxes.  War tax resisters seek to build community through responsible use of their resisted money.  We take a stand as to where our money goes and do not obediently allow a small group of people to determine how our taxes are spent.  The taxes you pay to the government cannot be earmarked for specific things you do not agree with.  The government designs the federal budget.  The use of tax money for war completely overshadows the fairness of any tax system.  It is one way where you can make a difference today.  Should we not pay any taxes?  Most folks continue to pay state taxes and chose to resist their federal taxes by withholding from their W4 form and not paying the phone company the federal excise tax in their bill.  Some folks want to be more legitimate about not paying and put the amount they "should have paid" into an escrow account so it is clear that they had the money to pay the taxes but are refusing to do so.  Abstaining from paying federal taxes does not completely eliminate your support for war however it is the largest way financially for an individual.   Individual income taxes provide about two-thirds of the revenue needed for federal funds for war.  Won't the government eventually get my money anyway?  It is possible that the IRS will continue to harass you and perhaps you will eventually agree to pay your taxes.  If so, please recognize that the power and validity of war tax resistance is not diminished even if the government succeeds in collecting money from you.  It is possible, especially if you do not make a lot of money, that you will get lost in the mix or forgotten.  In addition, there is a statue of limitations of ten years from assessment beyond which the IRS can no longer proceed.  Will I go to jail?  War tax resistance involves little risk of jail.  Since World War II, approximately twenty people have been jailed for reasons related to war tax resistance.  Remember, the primary interest of the IRS is to get money, not jail the resister, so war tax resisters must be prepared to accept some financial risk.  The IRS has a lot of power because it wields its power through fear.  Overcoming that fear and acting on one's conscience can be very liberating.  How do I get started?  The first step is to tell your boss or employer that you need to fill out a new W-4 form.  No need to tell them why, you legally have the right to change that information.  On the W-4 form for number 7 write in the word EXEMPT and let them know your withholding will change on your paychecks from now on.  Again,  do not tell them you are putting any kind of false information on this document as the employer is supposed to disregard it if they know that.  *If you have a problem with your employer or they will not accept a change in your W-4 you need to contact a war resister counselor to help you with your specific situation.  Next, refuse to pay the federal taxes on your phone bill.  Simply deduct that amount from your monthly phone bill or bills.  When you pay the bill less the tax, enclose a note explaining that you are not paying the tax because of opposition to military spending.  The phone company is required to credit your account and report this to the IRS.  They may not report it as a "balance due."  Many companies require you to submit a letter every month with every payment.  Some companies are not aware of the laws and have threatened to discontinue service.  Do your best to research and provide them with the necessary info.  If there is still a problem consider changing your service to a company that is willing to work with you.  Do I still file my taxes?  Most folks do calculate their taxes and mail in a letter explaining why they are not submitting payment for federal taxes due.  Please contact a tax resister counselor for a sample letter.  Again, this is open civil disobedience and we are not hiding anything (unless you would prefer to not file at all), it's effective to let them know why we are not paying.  Other ways folks resist:  -Abstaining from buying and consuming tobacco and alcohol.  These are by far the biggest revenue sources for federal excise taxes.  Solutions to this: make your own beer and wine and quit smoking today.  If not you can buy loose tobacco and papers which do not have a federal excise tax.  -Not buying savings bonds.  These used to be called "war bonds" but the government decided to change the name so they sounded friendlier.  They still do the same thing, allow the government to borrow money  for federal spending which again is used for war.  -Gasoline taxes.  For the car-free folks, your one up.  For many reasons, including the war, reduce your oil consumption and find alternative ways of getting around.  Get on that bike.  Last comments:  This is not for everyone but please consider yourself as a possibility.  I have the privilege of risking jail (although very a small possibility) and taking the financial risk of eventually paying (although the IRS does allow you to make monthly payments if it comes down to a serious threat).  Please do some further research and consider resisting war by resisting federal taxes.  Thousands of people are doing it and it does have an impact.  
—xoxo krissi • p.o. box 4288 • richmond, va 23220  krissi@vegan.org. 
Further resources: War Tax Resistance, A Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military  - a War Resisters League Publication by Ed Hedemann.  (Most of the information above comes from this).  Ain't Gonna Pay for War No More by Robert Calvert.  -www.nwtrcc.org  National War Tax Resisters website with lots of information. 

Now go make some good food: 

Lentil Loaf:  2 cups cooked lentils, 2/3 cup plain soy milk, 2 tbs oil, 1 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 2 tsp egg replacer powder, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp, thyme, 1 large chopped yellow onion, 1 cup grated red onion, 1 cup chopped celery and some salt and pepper.   Combine and mix thoroughly.  Slop into a greased casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for about an hour. 

Top with nutritional yeast gravy:  6 tbs soy margarine, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 3 cups veggie broth (or water), 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt.  Melt the margarine and slowly add everything else stirring constantly (you may not need all of the 3 cups of liquid so add that sparingly).  Once it is bubbly and the consistency you want pour it over that lentil loaf and enjoy.  These recipes come from Spoonfight: Vegan Manual to Kitchen Terrorism.