Ellie Teplin, center, carries a large mock tax check in protest of the war in Iraq as she joins about 60 people marching in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, April 15, 2003.
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Thousands of Americans chose not to pay their federal income tax this year as a political statement, many because they don't want their money supporting the U.S. military.
It's a form of civil disobedience some peace activists say is especially important this filing season because of the war in Iraq. But the tax man doesn't care what their reasons are.
The Internal Revenue Service doesn't treat political protesters differently from Americans who fail to file their tax returns due to neglect or greed. It says not paying can result in long-term financial consequences, including a damaged credit history.
"People need to be aware if you don't file your tax return or pay your taxes on time, you could face penalties or interest, and if you continue to ignore it, the penalties and interest could increase," said IRS spokeswoman Peggy Riley.
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee estimates as many as 8,000 Americans each year avoid paying some or all of their federal income tax liability because of their political beliefs. An estimated 132 million returns are expected to be filed this year.
Does this mean folks don't have to pay for the lazy fscks on welfare?