The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund began more than 30 years ago when Ronald Reagan was president, U.S.-backed Contras were hard at work on our behalf, the Cold War was at its height, and U.S. Marine headquarters in Beruit, Lebanon, had just been bombed.
In the mid 1980s, military tax resisters who refused to pay all or a portion of their income tax to support MAD— Mutually Assured Destruction—policies of the United States were being socked with large penalties, interest, liens, garnishments, and seizure of their property.
In 1982 a core group of 83 people across the country decided we could easily share $463.14 in penalties and interest incurred by a few military tax resisters who appealed to the war tax resistance community for help. The more people we could recruit to shoulder the penalties and interest of resisters, the lighter the burden for everyone. The base list of supporters has been as high as 800 people sharing the weight. In nearly every appeal, at least 200 people respond, usually more. In all we’ve paid out about $250,000 to help resisters stay in the struggle.
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About three times a year, the WTRPF Board reviews requests from resisters against whom the IRS has already moved. We ask resisters to provide:
We divide the total amount for all resisters by the number of active names on the membership list to arrive at a “share.” If this results in a share amount greater than $30, we may ask for less than the total amount requested and carry over the remainder to the next appeal. We then send out an appeal to both active and inactive members. Each contributor pays all of a share or whatever amount she can afford. Some pay more than a share. We are committed to eventually reimburse the whole amount requested for each applicant. Resisters do not need to be members of the Penalty Fund before applying for aid, but we hope they will become contributors afterward.
Winter 2014 appeal letter (PDF)
Summer 2014 appeal letter (PDF)
January, 2014, letter to NWTRCC members reactivating the Penalty Fund
Spring 2014 appeal letter (PDF)
Link to the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee website