Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Resistance coming to fruition

In an earlier post I presented a letter from 1970 from my parents to the IRS, explaining their reluctance to pay their taxes given the war in Vietnam they were helping to fund, and a memo from 1971, explaining that they weren't paying the surtax levied for tax year 1970, as it seemed to be a war  tax.

Then no sign of anything out of the ordinary for tax years 1971 and 1972.

The 1973 tax folder was the jackpot year. There's a "Schedule A: Itemized Deductions," most of which is routine stuff, written in pencil (it's their working copy, the one they kept for their own files, back in the days before electronic filing, and even before easy access to Xerox machines).

But under line 33, "Other (Itemize)" is written in pen, "Illegal gov't action ded, (see letter attached)" with 13,000 entered in the space for the amount.

The attached letter is a type-written document, undated (but presumably it's from about April 14, 1974, sent with their 1973 tax filing), that reads:

* Illegal Government Action deduction

This deduction refers to illegal and immoral government actions. Severe cases are known, primarily in Indo-China where we maim, kill, and make refugees on a large scale, without legal authorization, and without any military threat by the Indo-Chinese to the United States. Another case is Chile, which has recently passed through a time of terror, almost surely supported by the United States. There must be other less known cases, both foreign and domestic.

We do not object to the principle of taxation for common goals, but if we follow strictly the procedures outlined by the tax regulations, we are guilty of complicity in supporting these illegal and immoral acts, as in the Nuremberg precedents.

We expect the IRS to disagree with this, but we hope that the case can actually be resolved; for example the money at issue could be spent in some "alternate service" mutually agreed on by us and the IRS. The Nuremberg doctrine, together with the accepted idea of alternate military service, point clearly to this solution.

(signed Charlotte B Seeley)                 (signed Robert T. Seeley)
Charlotte B. Seeley                              Robert T. Seeley

And then there's the manila folder labeled in Mom's hand, "Case."


  1. Replies
    1. It was a story I had known in outline for a long time, roughly since college in the second half of the 1980s (maybe since high school?). Although it was just last week that I was going through the files, I already can't remember if I opened up those early-1970s ones because of a memory of what they'd done, or just randomly (I browsed through stuff from the 1960s as well).