How War Tax Resisters Get Those Big Refunds

This comes from the Schenectady Gazette and highlights the Vietnam War-era war tax resistance technique of claiming extra dependents on your tax return. Interestingly, the newspaper printed what looks to be an IRS press release nearly verbatim as a sort of rebuttal/warning sidebar.

Altamont “Tax Resister” Gets $250 IRS Refund

An Altamont man who filed for a complete tax refund with the Internal Revenue Service because he objects to American policies, has received a refund check from the IRS for over $250.

Mark Brockley of Berne-Altamont Road, Altamont, claimed his niece, five-month-old Sequoyah Kirchen, as his dependent although she does not live with him, on the basis that she represents “all children… who depend on each of us to create a livable world for them to grow up in and inherit.”

Brockley depostited his refund check in the Capital Area Life Giving Fund, an account set up in the SEAL Credit Union, Albany, for tax resistance money. A release from the Capital Area War Tax Resistance said the money will be used for donations to the Lwanga House of Arbor Hill, a shelter for alcoholics and the unemployed, and the Bach Mai Hospital Fund, to rebuild the Hanoi hospital destroyed by American bombs last December.

The Altamont resident wrote the IRS that to continue supporting American policies with his tax money would be “aiding and condoning that violation of Christian morality” as he understands it.

Brockley is reportedly the first member of the Capital Area War Tax Resistance; 727 Madison Ave., Albany, to receive such a tax refund since Richard and Melanie Evans, formerly of Albany, received a $231 refund in after claiming a Vietnamese mother and child as dependents.

And here is the voice of officialdom, dutifuly transcribed by the Gazette:

IRS Advises War Protestors Of Tax Law

It has come to the attention of the Albany District Internal Revenue Service that an area taxpayer may have knowingly and incorrectly claimed a dependent on his Federal Income tax return. The action is in the form of a protest against American policy here and in Indochina.

According to Donald T. Hartley, district director of the IRS for Northeastern New York, the usual procedure is that a questionable tax return is processed; the refund is issued; and the document is set aside for later examination. The document would be forwarded to the Albany District Office by the Andover Service Center for audit. The taxpayer would then be contacted for verification of his claimed deductions and dependents.

Hartley reminded all taxpayers that the United States tax system is based on voluntary compliance and that taxpayers have a responsibility as citizens to file correct returns.

The Internal Revenue Service will collect any additional monies if due and they do not anticipate any difficulties in closing any account. With respect to other war protesters, the IRS will similarly enforce the tax laws and collect the tax and penalties due.