I’m Redirecting My Taxes to the Maximum Impact Fund

Today I’m sending a check for $4,031 — representing what I didn’t pay in federal taxes in  — to the Maximum Impact Fund run by the GiveWell organization.

GiveWell researches promising charities to determine which are currently able to make the greatest impact per donated dollar. They have a number of top recommendations, mostly involving disease prevention in poorer parts of the world. Rather than choose from those, I chose the simpler option, which is to give to GiveWell’s Maximum Impact Fund, whereupon GiveWill will give that money to whichever charity is currently at the top of their list.

Enclosed please find a check for $4,031 made out to the Maximum Impact Fund. I would like to briefly tell you how this money has come into your hands: In 2003, when the United States government launched its war in Iraq, I decided to stop paying federal taxes in order to stop supporting such monstrous policies. Each year, I file my tax returns, and each year I fail to include a check for the amount they say I owe. The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t think much of this, and sends me a series of letters demanding that I pay up. But by law the I.R.S. has ten years to squeeze the money out of me, after which they have to give up. In 2012 I filed a tax return showing I owed $4,031 to the U.S. Treasury. I didn’t pay. I endured ten years of pleading and threatening letters from the I.R.S. Now the statute of limitations has expired. I got away with it. And so now I’m giving that money to you. I trust you to spend it much more wisely than the U.S. government would.

You may remember that I also redirected my taxes to the Maximum Impact Fund .