Segal Cohen & Landis Reviews War Tax Resisters

War Tax Resisters are catching a break. According to Peter Reilly at Forbes the IRS is easing up on War Tax Resisters. What exactly is a War Tax Resister and what sets them apart from other tax protestors? War Tax Resisters are people who refuse to pay either a portion, specifically the portion that would go to the Department of Defense, or all of their taxes as a form of protest to the war.

This consciousness objection is what sets them apart from other tax protestors who might protest paying their taxes because they are a “sovereign citizen” or might write “nunc pro tunc” on their returns. “Nunc pro tunc” is what some taxpayers unsuccessfully attempt to use as a way to make a delinquent return timely, invalidate a signature, create a claim for refund of taxes previously paid, or reduce ones federal tax liability. As a side note, “nunc pro tunc “ is not a valid legal argument nor will it be accepted by the IRS. The IRS considers these types of arguments to be frivolous and you could face penalties for doing so.

However, the IRS does not consider all arguments to be frivolous. The IRS has in the past deemed conscientious objection to military spending to be frivolous and has in the past hit people with penalties up to $5,000. Lately this has not been the case. The IRS recently issued a ruling which stated that they will not penalize anyone who when files their taxes shows the correct tax due but refuses to pay it. According to Mr. Reily at Forbes, in short, the return should not be altered. Do not add a line to take some sort of war tax deduction or credit. If you wish to protest in the name of peace simply compute the correct balance due, then do not pay. There will still be penalties for not paying your taxes but you can avoid the $5,000 penalty for frivolousness.


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