Tax resistance

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Tax resisters in Spain have supported the Nonviolence Programme at War Resisters' International, by pooling the money from their tax contributions that would otherwise have been given to the Spanish military.

Postcards sent from WRI affiliate World Without WarEach year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its members mark Prisoners for Peace Day, when we publicise the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

What is war profiteering?

'War profiteering' includes all those who profit financially from war and militarisation, or whose money makes war possible. That includes a complex network of companies, financial institutions, and individuals. The obvious thing that people think of when you talk about war profiteering is weapons manufacturers, but it goes much further than that.

We believe that so long as violence remains profitable, war will persist, because the short-term economic interests of the powerful will be put before longer-term peace and liberation. So that's why it's important – because without preventing war profiteering, we can never see an end to war.

PRESS RELEASE

On Thursday 17th January, War Resisters' International, a global network of pacifist organisations based in London, will pay taxes that have been withheld for five years, under protest to HM Revenue and Customs.

Since 2007, War Resisters' International has been withholding a proportion of PAYE as a form of protest against Britain's military policies - the high level of military spending, the cooperation with criminal programmes such as the "rendition" of suspects, spurious rationales for military intervention, and the development and manufacture weapons of mass destruction and drones for long-distance assassination.

“What would you do if someone came to your door with a cup in hand asking for a contribution to help buy guns to kill a group of people they didn't like?”
— Wally Nelson

Wally Nelson was a resister during World War II, one of many U.S. pacifists who not only refused to kill but didn’t want to pay for it either. In 1942, Ernest Bromley refused to buy a “defense tax stamp” for his car because the money went to the war, and the U.S. government took him to court. He spent 60 days in jail for refusing $7.09 for stamps and a $25 fine imposed by the court.

The Inland Revenue is threa­tening War Resisters' In­ternational with the seizure of assets because the pacifist organisation is withholding a proportion of income tax due to its conscientious objection to paying for war.

War Resisters' Internatio­nal has been withholding tax – usually about 7% of income tax, roughly the proportion of the military budget – since the tax year 2002/03. In its regu­lar letters to the Inland Revenue, the organisation states:

The Inland Revenue is threatening War Resisters' International, an international network of pacifist and antimilitarist organisations with more than 80 affiliates in more than 40 countries, with the seizure of assets because the pacifist organisation is withholding a proportion of income tax due to its conscientious objection to paying for war.

War Resisters' International has been withholding tax - usually about 7% of income tax, roughly the proportion of the military budget - since the tax year 2002/03 [1]. In its regular letters to the Inland Revenue, the organisation states:

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