Ninth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Hirschluch, Germany 2002

Workshop 1

Forms of Tax Resistance, and Actions

Moderators: Jan Hellebaut (VRAK) and Uta Pfefferle (NWFS)

Report: Gertie Brammer, Marya Nyland

One hour was spent listing forms of tax resistance. Result:

Whatever of this you put into practice, make sure the media know about it.

Following on this the 26 participants split into three sub-groups:

  1. subject: which actions are possible? or: how to make the population aware
  2. subject: how do we change legislation? or: becoming aware of the legal options
  3. subject: differentiation between symbolic actions and refusal on the grounds of conscience

Results from Group 1: forms of action (report: Marya Nyland)

Results from Group 2: legislation (report: Gertie Brammer) The actual average sum that tax payers pay for war is estimated at around 500 Euros. Bearing this in mind it's hardly worth the effort to deduct tiny amounts from VAT unless, as a self-employed person, one can refuse to pay all income tax. Three serious possibilities:

  1. Work with the media

    Make it clear that a modern army no longer serves to defend its country, but to defend its economy. The costs have risen astronomically, the usefulness is minimal. Make clear what might be done instead with this money, and far more constructively: financing of UN, ZFD, development aid, health services, education; reshape the remainders of an army into an eco-army (help in catastrophes and preventative work)

  2. Lobbying for the recognition of the torment of the conscience as a reason for refusing war taxes
  3. work on preparations for changes of legislation in this sense.

Group 3 didn't eventually come off.