Poll: Should religious institutions be exempt from paying income tax?
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View poll results: Should religious institutions be exempt from paying income tax?
Yes
7 5%
No
122 95%
Voters: 129.
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#1
Well? Why or why not?
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#4
Well im not religious but to be fair any 'profit' that a church makes tends to go to some form of charity....
#8
Yes.

Scientology, though, I could see as not being tax exempt, as people pay to attain higher levels inside the religion. And I find it a little odd that L. Ron Hubbard should state that the way to make money is to start a religion.

Source.
Last edited by blake1221 at Jun 4, 2010,
#9
Do they really generate that much revenue?
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If only you could back that statement up.
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#10
Quote by Zombee
Do they really generate that much revenue?



Nah

Check out my band Disturbed
#11
Quote by Zombee
Do they really generate that much revenue?


Yeah. Donations and tithes bring in a lot of money; most churches donate a lot of it to charitable things or their own missions. I went on one to Mexico and we built two houses and a refurbished a church.
#12
Pft, I have one of those in my back yard.
How I wish, how I wish
That the world, that the world
Had just one
THROAT
And my fingers were around it


Literature thread
#15
I think they should be exempt, but they should at least have to apply first.
#16
Quote by blake1221
Yeah. Donations and tithes bring in a lot of money; most churches donate a lot of it to charitable things or their own missions. I went on one to Mexico and we built two houses and a refurbished a church.

Reinvestment =/= charity.
#17
Quote by captaincrunk
Reinvestment =/= charity.


Really?.....nevermind the clothing food and shelter supplied, my charity is negated by the fact that we cleaned and fixed up a church. Wow.
#18
Quote by blake1221
Really?.....nevermind the clothing food and shelter supplied, my charity is negated by the fact that we cleaned and fixed up a church. Wow.

Reminds me a bit of the UN soldiers "sex for food" scandal. Except instead of sex you demand religion.

Now that's a gross exaggeration, but it was really fun to say.

But really, if all a church did were give clothes to the poor they'd be charity organizations. That's obviously not the problem.
#19
Quote by captaincrunk
Now that's a gross exaggeration, but it was really fun to say.



But really, if all a church did were give clothes to the poor they'd be charity organizations. That's obviously not the problem.


I'm not defending every church. I am fully aware of the amount of corruption that exists in today's religious systems. I just don't enjoy being thrown in with that lot, for obvious reasons.
#20
Only on money that's used for charitable work.
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#21
Quote by blake1221
I'm not defending every church. I am fully aware of the amount of corruption that exists in today's religious systems. I just don't enjoy being thrown in with that lot, for obvious reasons.

Well, no church should be exempt from taxes. If I run a business that puts some of it's profits into charity that doesn't mean I don't pay taxes. I might be able to get some tax deductions, but not exempt.
#22
they should get a rebate or whatever it's called for the money that goes on charitable stuff, so they're not paying tax on that.
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#23
Quote by captaincrunk
Well, no church should be exempt from taxes. If I run a business that puts some of it's profits into charity that doesn't mean I don't pay taxes. I might be able to get some tax deductions, but not exempt.


But then again, the thing is, they do not force you to pay. Because the option exists to go for free, if everyone wanted to, they could stop tithing and donating. Lots of churches will set up other services like a shop, concession stand, adjacent to the building in order to generate some revenue. You could argue that it's part of our religion to tithe, thus forcing us into it, but the option to not donate still exists.
#24
Quote by blake1221
But then again, the thing is, they do not force you to pay. Because the option exists to go for free, if everyone wanted to, they could stop tithing and donating. Lots of churches will set up other services like a shop, concession stand, adjacent to the building in order to generate some revenue. You could argue that it's part of our religion to tithe, thus forcing us into it, but the option to not donate still exists.

No one forces me to buy things from certain businesses either. They're selling a product, no matter how "holy" it is, and no matter how many times they let you off without paying. Radiohead sold an album where you could pay as much or as little as you wanted, they still payed taxes.

And things like concession stands usually don't generate enough money to tax anyway, unless it's a continuous thing.
Last edited by captaincrunk at Jun 4, 2010,
#25
Well I can already see where this thread is going.



edit: You know I'm right.
Last edited by -[NiL]- at Jun 4, 2010,
#26
Quote by captaincrunk
No one forces me to buy things from certain businesses either. They're selling a product, no matter how "holy" it is, and no matter how many times they let you off without paying. Radiohead sold an album where you could pay as much or as little as you wanted, they still payed taxes.

And things like concession stands usually don't generate enough money to tax anyway, unless it's a continuous thing.


What product are they exactly selling in that case? You can tax a bible shop because they sell Bibles and related merchandise, but a church in and of itself?
#27
Quote by blake1221
What product are they exactly selling in that case? You can tax a bible shop because they sell Bibles and related merchandise, but a church in and of itself?

They sing songs don't they? I could compare it to a nightclub that doesn't charge a cover, but instead has a big tip jar.

But really, it doesn't matter if there is a physical product being sold. It's not the product that really concerns taxpayers, it's the revenue.
#28
Quote by captaincrunk
They sing songs don't they? I could compare it to a nightclub that doesn't charge a cover, but instead has a big tip jar.

But really, it doesn't matter if there is a physical product being sold. It's not the product that really concerns taxpayers, it's the revenue.


Is that first part a joke?

What do you mean it doesn't matter? If there's nothing to sell, there's nothing to tax..
#29
Quote by blake1221
Is that first part a joke?

What do you mean it doesn't matter? If there's nothing to sell, there's nothing to tax..

You don't tax the product (aside from things like sales tax or sin taxes placed directly on the product but the seller (the church in this case) isn't really the one who pays that anyway).

And no, it's not a joke. If you were to make a comparable atheist organization it would at best be called some kind of community gathering center with weekly meetings funded by it's members. Those pay taxes too, if they generate revenue.
#30
Quote by StonaLemons
Well im not religious but to be fair any 'profit' that a church makes tends to go to some form of charity....


This, at least here in Norway.
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#31
If they make a profit, they should be taxed like any other organisation.
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S A D B O Y S
#32
Quote by Zombee
Do they really generate that much revenue?


Churches in the UK can Gift Aid donations given, so for every pound, they actually gain 1.28.

Also, some people choose to donate in other ways, such as a monthly direct debit, or through their will (which can be a LOT of money).


All in all, churches are pretty well off. The Church of England alone is worth 800m pounds.
#33
Quote by captaincrunk
You don't tax the product (aside from things like sales tax or sin taxes placed directly on the product but the seller (the church in this case) isn't really the one who pays that anyway).

And no, it's not a joke. If you were to make a comparable atheist organization it would at best be called some kind of community gathering center with weekly meetings funded by it's members. Those pay taxes too, if they generate revenue.



Sorry to leave you, but it's my bed time lol

But here are some things I'll lay out for you.
1) They pay people lots of money to go through tax laws. I'm assuming you are not a member of the IRS or an accountant of any kind, correct me if I'm wrong though. I will not claim to have any fathom of the amount of laws that regulate and decide whether organizations like churches should or should not be tax exempt.

2) This site I freshly googled posed some very good arguments on the front page, before they even got to specifics.

To what extent, and even if, tax exemptions should be given to religious organizations and churches depends on why tax exemptions exist at all. If you think tax exemptions exist because charities provide public benefits, you may be suspicious of giving exemptions to churches. If you think tax exemptions exist because charitable organizations have no net income, then churches will should qualify.


Tax exemptions may not be the most common issue facing courts in arguments over the separation of church and state, it is one of the most fundamental. Initially it appears to be a form of government support for religions and religious activities; on the other hand, the power to tax is the power to restrict or destroy, so is exempting religions from taxation a means of ensuring their independence?


Based upon court rulings on how tax exemptions for charitable groups work, we cannot be conclude that churches and religious organizations automatically deserve exemptions. Even if one believes that their religion and their church provide a necessary public service, it does not follow that all religions and churches necessarily provide a public service which merits support through tax exemptions


Each of those quotations address both sides of the issue and poses questions about each as well. I'm leaving that as just my sign off that, to be honest, I'm in over my head with tax laws. There are far too many things about them that I flat out do not understand. My ignorance on the subject limits my opinion and validity in my previous arguments.

Goodnight, sir.

Fassa showed up anyways, so this thread is void lol
Last edited by blake1221 at Jun 4, 2010,
#35
I don't seen why there should be any difference between religious and non-religious institutions when it comes to paying taxes.
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#36
They don't really have actual profit besides charity. As far as I know. Maybe some government checks here and there.

Mind you, if they did pay taxes they would probably get some retardedly kick-ass tax cuts anyways. So I'm guesing there would'nt be that much of a difference.
#37
No.
Or maybe there should be an application for being tax-exempt or something, as 'churches' like the WBC certainly would not be accepted, and thats a good thing.

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Sinking, always sinking

#38
Quote by blake1221
Really?.....nevermind the clothing food and shelter supplied, my charity is negated by the fact that we cleaned and fixed up a church. Wow.

That's blatant misuse of the word "wow".

I'm leaning towards no. All you need to be a church is a big room and an irrational belief, and whether that's accurate or not, typing it gave me an atheist-gasm. I don't think that's a very good justification for tax exemption. And I'd rather people gave straight to charities than went through churches.

Although if I think about some very charitable churches and shitty things governments have done, I'd rather the church kept the money. I don't know.
I'LL PUNCH A DONKEY IN THE STREETS OF GALWAY
Last edited by whalepudding at Jun 4, 2010,
#39
I see no reason why they should be exempt.
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#40
Quote by jgbsmith
Only on money that's used for charitable work.


This. They should be taxed on their standard income though.
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