War Tax Resisters of the Restored Israel of Yahweh

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a good profile today of war tax resisters Kevin McKee, Joseph Donato, and Inge Donato.

The three — members of a small group called the Restored Israel of YAHWEH, which was founded by conscientious objector and war tax resister Leo Volpe — are among a very select group of war tax resisters who have actually done time for their convictions. Two are still in prison.

The Donatos and McKees have no idea what they will do once the men finish their sentences. The construction company has been dissolved; they don’t plan to restart it.

Then there’s the issue of the back taxes that still have to be paid. They petitioned the IRS to pay the $300,000 into a victim/witness fund, instead of the general treasury, but they were denied.

The ruling is part of an appeal, but a higher court is unlikely to change it. The only legal way to avoid paying taxes, [National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund executive director Alan] Gamble said, is to live below the poverty line.

McKee and Joseph Donato both said they would rather work and make a living, but they weren’t eager to pay taxes in the future.

“If they’re going to force me to pay, I won’t pay,” McKee said. “If the consequences are coming back here, I will.”

Kat and Russell Kanning, along with some other folks from the NH Underground, returned to the IRS  — the scene of the “crime” in which Russell had been arrested trying to hand out fliers to the IRS employees .

“Several people stopped and talked to us , being supportive. There were lots of honks for the ‘honk if you hate taxes’ sign,” Kat reported. “There was a note on the IRS door saying that the person working there was away on a family illness. I think it’s bogus and they just can’t be bothered to defend their office.…”

“I burned some tax forms back out on the sidewalk. Someone complained to the police, who complained to me, but they didn’t do anything about it.”

The IRS office in Keene, New Hampshire is only open for a few hours on Thursdays during most of the year. The Kannings plan to return to protest every Thursday. Russell, who appeared at the protest with his trademark denim overalls and pitchfork, said “we haven’t kicked the IRS out of Keene yet, but we are working on it.”

Congratulations to Taran Jordan for dropping out of the rat race and getting started on your tax revolt.