To Whom It May Concern at the IRS

November 17, 2020

To Whom It May Concern at the Internal Revenue Service,

I write in response to the notice you sent me, dated November 16, 2020, of your agency's intent to seize my property if I continue to refuse to pay my federal taxes for tax year 2018. The amount of these taxes is $2413.43, inclusive of penalties and interest.

As I have explained to the IRS many times in the past (I haven't paid taxes since 2000, so we've corresponded with one another quite a bit!) my conscience forbids me from paying these taxes because they would be used to fund, among other deeply immoral things:

  • war and preparation for war
  • a racist and punishment-based criminal justice system
  • unfettered destruction of the natural world

 

The word "economics" is derived from the Greek oikos, which means "home." Economy specifically refers to the tending of the home. The system we presently have in the United States is actually, therefore, anti-economics. Rather than tending to our home we are quite literally destroying it, and the taxation system your organization administers serves to perpetuate this destruction. I am duty-bound to not cooperate with it, and therefore resist taxes as an act of civil disobedience.

I am not opposed to taxation in principle, and I recognize that tax dollars fund many things that are life-serving. However, because I have no way of directing my contribution so as to avoid enriching the US military, the prison-industrial complex, and the US government's compact with Big Oil - to again cite the previous three examples - I have no conscientious choice but to withhold payment entirely.

In order to contribute to the general welfare of our society and the world, I have offered the full amount of my calculated taxes since 2000 to support humane efforts to build a more just and peaceful society and world community. In this way I like to think that my civil disobedience becomes civil initiative. In recent years the majority of the taxes I've redirected have been offered as long overdue reparations to Black and Indigenous-led groups working for their own liberation. If and when our nation transforms its spending priorities to genuinely reflect a commitment to healing, justice, peace, and ecological responsibility, I will be happy to pay taxes to the IRS.

I send this letter with all due respect for the individuals who work at the IRS. My objections to the role your agency plays do not obstruct my care for you as human beings. In fact, my tax resistance is as much on your behalf as it is on my own.

Sincerely,

Chris Moore-Backman

 

 

Reactions

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  • Cynthia Papermaster
    commented 2020-11-24 22:11:40 -0800
    Incredibly inspiring Chris! Thank you for your principled and courageous stand.
  • Chris Moore-Backman
    published this page in Blog 2020-11-17 12:43:52 -0800