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Churches Keep Tax Exemptions

Do you believe churches should retain their tax exemption status? Comments?

Moderator - I believe tax exemptions should be done away with for all organizations. Too many have learned how to use the non-tax dollars to funnel money into their for profit firms. The system has encouraged many of the largest ministers to become millionares by breaking the spirit of the law.

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 ---mima on 10/15/06
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Any property a church has that is not DIRECTLY related to its ministry is subject to taxation in most states.

Furthermore there is a myth that clergy are exempt from income taxes. (I've met PhDs who thought this.) Actually, under the tax laws of the USA, clergy are considered self-employed and must pay withholding at a HIGHER rate than the church secretary.
---Jack on 8/5/08


Last time I checked every 501c3 organization I've worked for church or not has payed propery and sales tax. Not for profet's should not being making any profets, not-for-profet.

As an ordained Minister I have to pay double the social security tax, but the IRS "adjusts" my income down by the amount I actually spend on housing. It's a lot of paperwork and comes out equal in the end.
---Gilbert on 8/16/07


Part 2:

Should the congregation provide a rectory, income tax must be paid on the "fair market value" of the rental. Same goes for payments made by the congregation into the church's pension fund.
---Jack on 8/16/07


eventually the church will lose it's tax exemption, because the powers of the govt are pushing to hard on them. It is wrong for th govt to try to scare churches into conformity by the fear of Taxation. We need to change the entire tax code and get rid of the income tax it is the worst tax system in human history. I like the "Fair Tax" an inclusive sales tax, it is fair for everyone and would take out much of the corruption in the government.
---Jared on 11/12/06


Tax-ex opens your files(of any kind)to the federal government: Expressly the IRS hwo knows our friends at the BATF. Who here wants your church records (names, jobs, income,lives,etc) to be open for review? Also, our government can then tell you how to run your church. I say just pay the taxes. We do at home (I hope). As to the Bently and "outward appearances". Show me God doesn't care and I'll show you He does.
---mikefl on 10/21/06




Would it matter to the complainers if this car was a gift from some rich person who passed away, asking the church to give it to him?

Does it matter that some West Coast churches have ATMs and Starbucks on the property AND have people saved there?

I am glad that God does not judge by outward appearances.
---JohnT on 10/21/06


'Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey,'"
Matthew 21:5
---R.A. on 10/20/06


I just stated the facts. I will let people draw their own conclusion. I agree with Alan and I am staying as far as I can away from that church, which also operates a bowling alley and coffee shop that also have a tax-exempt status. It is in competition with tax paying entities in the county. Supposedly, the profits are put back into the community but there is little evidence of it.
---randy on 10/20/06


Please tell me what could possibly justify a "church" giving a pastor a vehicle worth $300,000????
---Susie on 10/19/06


Randy A tax-exempt church here in suburban DC just gave their pastor a $300,000 Bentley.

Without knowing the total circumstances of this gift, it is impossible to give a pro or a con to this.

But throwing together the words "tax-exempt" and "$300,00 Bentley" together in the same sentence does not give the benefit of the doubt to anyone.

If you care to criticize (and you may be right) it is always good to get the whole story first, then write.
---JohnT on 10/18/06




Randy ... the Bentley is one of the most expensive cars in the world. I would run a mile from that church!!
---alan8869_of_UK on 10/17/06


A tax-exempt church here in suburban DC just gave their pastor a $300,000 Bentley. It would be nice if we could divide the wheat from the chaff.
---randy on 10/17/06


** I'd like to see any organization that is tax exempt have to give a financial statement that proves that more than half it's income goes directly towards helping those in need instead of operating expenses and big salaries.**

I was a player and board member of a community orchestra that received 501c3 status.

While nobody in the orchestra was paid, we still had expenses.

Mostly being being a 501c3 cultural organization meant donations to us could be deducted from tax.
---Jack on 10/17/06


I think churches should remain tax exempt for only their building which are used for religious services. I also think that all ministries should be required to post their financial statements where the whole world can see just how much these televangelists are making.
---Susie on 10/16/06


I kind to lean toward the taxation of church buildings, just so the buildings would be used for more hours in the week. And establish some form of tax credit based on the number of hours each meeting room or function hallis used per week. Credit of religious use, community use, and building rental. I just want to see church buildings used more of the week and less grandiose structures that are only used a few hours a week.
---Phil_the_Elder on 10/16/06


**I believe tax exemptions should be done away with for all organizations. Too many have learned how to use the non-tax dollars to funnel money into their for profit firms. The system has encouraged many of the largest ministers to become millionares by breaking the spirit of the law.**

By this same logic, Moderator, marriage should be done away with because rape and sexual abuse happens.

Abuse of something should not prohibit its proper use.
---Jack on 10/16/06


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I'd like to see any organization that is tax exempt have to give a financial statement that proves that more than half it's income goes directly towards helping those in need instead of operating expenses and big salaries. At least then they would all have to prove they were charities.
---john on 10/16/06


From what Mod says the system has become corrupted in the USA
In Britain maybe charities and "gift sid" donations are better regulated, for I have not heard of problems over here.
---alan8869_of_UK on 10/16/06


Mod; How big do you think these "largest" ministers might be? ...perhaps over 400 pounds? ( just being a little facetious)
---1st_cliff on 10/15/06


The early church wasn't tax exempt. They survived because it was God's plan that they do. And they shared what the Holy Spirit taught them, regardless of what the government at the time said.
---Donna2277 on 10/15/06


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Church is supposed to be a charity organization, and you do not tax charity, and the governement needs to stay out of the affairs of God, that means no man-made laws imposed upon the church nor upon God's work.
---Eloy on 10/15/06


So Yes, Churches will retain their tax exempt status, otherwise the church cannot be a church anymore. In general the government is secular and not spiritual nor concerned with spiritual matters, therefore if the government would tax the House of God, then the government must abide by God's rules written in his Law Book, called the Holy Bible, and I don't think they are prepared to do that.
---Eloy on 10/15/06


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