And a more current WTS statement:
*** w11 9/1 pp. 21-22 Taxes—Must You Pay Them? ***
Taxes and Conscience
Significantly, a portion of the taxes that first-century Christians were instructed to pay went to the military. This is the very issue of conscience that later moved Gandhi and Thoreau to withhold taxes.
Notice that Christians obeyed the command in Romans chapter 13 not merely because they wanted to avoid punishment but also “on account of [their] conscience.” (Romans 13:5) Yes, a Christian’s conscience actually requires him to pay taxes, even if these are used to support activities that he personally rejects. To understand this seeming paradox, we must recognize a key fact about our conscience, the inner voice that tells us whether our actions are right or wrong.
Everyone has such an inner voice, as Thoreau observed, but it is not necessarily trustworthy. In order for us to please God, our conscience must conform to his moral standards. We often need to adjust our thinking or viewpoint to align with God’s because his thoughts are superior to ours. (Psalm 19:7) We should therefore endeavor to understand God’s view of human governments. What is his view?
We note that the apostle Paul called human governments “God’s public servants.” (Romans 13:6) What does that mean? Basically it means that they maintain order and perform valuable duties for society. Even the most corrupt governments often provide such services as mail delivery, public education, fire protection, and law enforcement. Although God is fully aware of the defects of these man-made authorities, he tolerates their existence for a time and mandates that we pay taxes out of respect for his arrangement, that is, his permitting such governments to rule mankind.
God’s allowance of rule by human governments, however, is only temporary. It is his will to replace all of them with his heavenly Kingdom and ultimately undo all the damage that human rulership has inflicted upon mankind through the centuries. (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:10) In the meantime, though, God has not authorized Christians to engage in civil disobedience by refusing to pay taxes or by any other means.
What if, like Gandhi, you still feel that paying taxes that support war is sinful? Just as our view of an area is improved if we climb to higher ground, we can more readily adjust our thinking to match God’s by reflecting on how much higher his viewpoint is than ours. Through the prophet Isaiah, God said: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isaiah 55:8, 9.