DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by Consensus, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Consensus Member

    DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    I've recently had a discussion with a co-worker of mine who is a fairly intelligent neo-con evangelical christian (I know, wtf?). While he and I disagree about a good many things, we always have respectful, in-depth conversations that, frankly, I greatly value. I've been discussing Anon with him, and while he agrees that Scientology is a dangerous cult, he's not happy we're working to destroy it. In particular, he got upset when I mentioned that we are working to undermine the tax exempt status of the CoS, because he thought that sets a dangerous precedent. If we can remove their tax exempt status, he reasons, we can attempt to remove the tax exempt status of any other church.

    Now, there are those out there who don't believe churchs should be tax exempt. I know the Church of Satan, Anton Levey's 'church', refuses to be tax exempt and actively calls for tax exempt status to be revoked for all churches. We are not taking that strong of a position. My co-worker's view, on the other hand, is that all churches must be tax exempt to support seperation of church and state. I personally disagree with that view, but my argument against it supports the Church of Satan position, not the more nuanced Anon position.

    So, if we wish to maximize our effectiveness amongst the christian majority, we need to develop an argument for why the CoS should not be tax exempt, while allowing other churches to remain tax exempt. One solution is to simply oppose the *special* tax exempt status the CoS has, but that view requires us to be okay with them having the same standard tax exempt status other churches have. The other line of attack is to 'prove' that they are not a 'church,' but that's a much harder thing to argue objectively.

    [DA]: Working to remove the tax exempt status of the CoS sets a dangerous precident, and implies that Anonymous is not merely opposed to the Church of Scientology, but is in fact anti-religion, working to undermine the legitimacy and financial independence of all faiths.
  2. Anon123456 Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    one of the key points that people miss on the tax exempt issue is that no other religion operates as a bussiness. so its actually a good precident to set. it would be exponentially harder to remove tax exempt status from another religion do to the fact that they are not breaking tax laws. that we know of. point being, is its just a clever way for co$ to pocket profits from book sales and everything else without having to pay the taxes a normal bussiness would have to pay.
  3. WMAnon Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    No other church charges money to pray. No other church has a system of "fixed donations." No other church has enough money to fund the largest team of lawyers in the world. The very reason we are attacking the Church of Scientology is that it does not act like any other church. Part of the legal battle will be proving just how different CoS is from a legitimate church. By removing the special religious tax exemptions from CoS, not only do we strike a severe blow against their criminal organization, we also remind the country of what a real church looks and acts like, and why they need their tax exempt status.
  4. Consensus Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Every religion - every university - every non-profit org - operates as a business. If they have expenses, they have to have income. If their income is less than their expenses - if they operate at a loss - they will bleed themselves dry. In what way does the COS operate that other churches don't? In what way does, say, the catholic church operate that Microsoft doesn't?

    What does 'non-profit' even mean? It sure doesn't mean they operate at a loss; if they did, they would go out of business. And I'm pretty sure tax exempt status for being non-profit and tax-exempt status for being a religion are different (not actually sure about that, anyone care to refute me?). And non-profit organizations can still pay their CEO's quite well. You don't have to live at poverty level to work for a non-profit organization.
  5. Consensus Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    [da]All churches have income, and they have to - becuase all churches have expenses. If they don't make enough money to pay for those expenses, they go out of business. What difference does it make HOW a given church gets their income (titheing or fixed donations), so long as it's legal? Isn't what's important that they are doing good work?[/da]
  6. Anon123456 Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    i should have been more clear, i was talking about the practice of giving recruiters a commission to bring people in. that gives them an incentive to do whatever they need to do to get you in. including but not limited to lying to the prospective customer. in essence these missions become store fronts. lets not forget about the donations the churches get every sunday. that is what supplements their expenses in liu of hocking merchendise. those fixed donations are prices for services performed. as far as i know that is unique to the Co$
  7. Anon123456 Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    the difference between microsoft and the catholic church is microsoft makes you pay a huge fee for their OS. the catholic church may make you pay for a bible but its only to cover the cost of printing and reproduction. Microsoft takes the cost of printing and reproduction and hits it with a major mark up. in my opinion the difference is night and day.
  8. Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    There is a misunderstanding here about the tax exempt status of the CO$.

    Not that I would not mind having all their tax exempt status removed...but the real issue regarding taxes is that thus far in the history of the U.S. there is no other church EXCEPT the CO$ whose members are allowed to deduct from their taxes 80% of the cost of their religious education expenses. Please return to your xian friend and ask him if THIS is right!

    Staff Reporter of the NY Sun
    February 8, 2008A

    A Jewish couple's bid to take a tax deduction they say the Internal Revenue Service reserves only for members of the Church of Scientology is getting a friendly reception from a federal appeals court, increasing the possibility of a ruling that could create a tax break for taxpayers of many religions who pay tuition to religious schools.

    During arguments on the case this week, three judges who ride the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals expressed deep skepticism of the IRS's position that the way the agency treats Scientologists is irrelevant to the deductions the Orthodox Jews, Michael and Marla Sklar, took for part of their children's day school tuition and for after-school classes in Jewish law.

    "The view of the IRS is it can unconstitutionally violate the Constitution by establishing religion, by treating one religion more favorably than other religions in terms of what is allowed as deductions, and there can never be any judicial review of that?" Judge Kim Wardlaw asked at the court session Monday in Pasadena, Calif.

    "That is not at all what I said," a Justice Department lawyer representing the IRS, Ellen Delsole, said.

    "That's the bottom line," Judge Wardlaw and a colleague on the panel, Harry Pregerson, both replied. "This does intrude into the Establishment Clause," Judge Wardlaw added.

    The case stems from an agreement the IRS reached with the Church of Scientology in 1993 to end more than a decade of lawsuits, audits, and other enforcement actions involving the tax agency, Scientology entities, and church leaders. The church paid $12.5 million, while the IRS agreed to drop arguments that Scientology, which was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, was not a bona fide religion.

    At about the time of that deal, the IRS agreed to allow Scientologists to deduct at least 80% of the fees paid for "religious training and services."

    The Sklars took similar deductions for religious education on their returns for the early 1990s, without challenge by the IRS. However, the IRS rejected their deductions for 1994 and beyond.

    The 1993 pact between the IRS and the Scientologists was memorialized in a 72-page "closing agreement," which was published by the Wall Street Journal in 1997. However, the IRS has never acknowledged the accuracy of that document, and when the Sklars' attorney, Jeffrey Zuckerman, sought it from the agency, the IRS refused to turn the document over.

    Mr. Zuckerman also subpoenaed the agreement and other records from the Church of Scientology and its president, Reverend Heber Jentzsch. The tax court judge who handled the case, John Colvin, quashed the subpoenas without explanation.

    Ms. Delsole told the appeals court that the agreement with the Scientologists must be kept confidential for privacy reasons. "That's getting into the private taxpayer business of another taxpayer," she said.

    The government lawyer asserted that the Sklars were not "similarly situated" to the Scientologists because the couple was seeking to deduct fees related to basic education for children and not the kind of training Scientologists undergo.

    "How do we know that?" Judge Wardlaw asked, according to a recording of the hearing.

    [Continued from page 2 of 3]

    "You tell us you don't know anything either, but you read the Wall Street Journal," Judge Pregerson said to Ms. Delsole. She said that even if the benefit for Scientologists went too far, the solution was not to give it to "one taxpayer and one more religion."

    "That's your best argument: two wrongs don't make a right," the third judge on the case, Ronald Leighton, said. He called the agency's refusal to explain its agreement with the Scientologists "a frustration that is hard to get beyond."

    Ms. Delsole warned the court that the IRS would have difficulty resolving tax disputes if it could be forced to justify those deals in cases involving other taxpayers. "Every person who can find out about it from any other religious group is going to come in and want the same thing and that would really tie the IRS's hands," she said.

    Members of racial minorities could also claim taxpayers of other races got better deals, the government lawyer said. "That's the sort of thing that would flow from the idea that the IRS can't settle and keep this confidential," she added.

    Mr. Zuckerman rejected that idea. "If the IRS were saying white people were entitled to a certain deduction and black people were not, why would it be such a parade of horrors for the courts to come in and say the government may not act that way?" he asked.

    The court made no immediate ruling, but an attorney who represents the Church of Scientology, Monique Yingling, said she was surprised by the judges' statements that data on the church's deal with the IRS was needed for the Sklars' case. "There's a lot of information already in the public record about this question," she said. "I don't know that there's any need for any additional information."

    Ms. Yingling said the 1993 deal merely ensured parity for Scientologists under tax law. "They are not getting any kind of special treatment," she said.

    Ms. Yingling said the training Scientologists can deduct is not the same as religious education. "The use of the word 'training' in Scientology is not analogous to education," she said. "It's just another way of advancing spiritually in Scientology."

    Mr. Zuckerman said that alleged distinction is precisely what he wants to explore in the court case. "You need to get a factual record on that, then you can make your argument," he said.
  9. Valley Anon Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Churches have expenses, true. However, churches do not turn a profit. An example:
    The total yearly expenses, including supplies, housing, administration, and providing for the needs of the pastor, of the "First Example Church" amount to $100. (Remember, this is an example.) If the First Example Church holds a massive bake sale and makes $500, the extra cash does not allow the pastor to go out and buy an XBox with the leftover money. Instead, it's used to give something back to the community or perhaps to finance needed renovations.

    In the CoS, if these monetary figures were a complete match, David Miscavige would be hooking up a sweet Rock Band setup within half an hour of the sale's end. Now multiply that out to the actual monetary figures and you'll see how the administration can afford spiffy yachts.
  10. WMAnon Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Yes, the good works of a church are what legitimizes their tax exempt status. A real church uses their income to do good. CoS puts up a front of "charitable organizations," but the bulk of their income is not directed at these good works.

    The nature of the expenses of the CoS is different from those of a real church. Typical church A must pay for a building, a pastor, hymnals and bibles. In addition, it may support a homeless shelter or other charitable group. Extra funds may be collected for parishioners going through a financial crisis or to support a community event. Typical church A uses its income in a socially responsible way, as is expected of a religious organization. CoS spends their money on hookers and blow...I mean CoS spends a truly outlandish amount of money on their legal team, on their posh "Celebrity Centers," and an unnecessary amount of "security" personnel. It's not spending money like a Church, it should not be treated like a Church for tax purposes.

    Also, the way income is generated is important. In any legitimate church, parishioners are able to decide how much they are able to donate at a given time. Even churches that require tithing have a built-in mechanism to protest their poorest members, after all 10% of nothing is nothing. In CoS, everyone is expected to pay the same amount for the same services, which implies that the fixed "donations" are, in fact, payment for services rendered and not "donations" at all. Those who cannot pay are shooed out the door or pressed into indentured servitude to the Sea Organization. NO OTHER CHURCH displays such blatant disregard for the needs of its parishioners.
  11. anoncement Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Scaryanonymous' post quoting from the NY Sun article makes many of the valid points, and more are made in the Time Magazine cover story from 1991 (and if anyone here hasn't read that yet, you should: ... -1,00.html ).

    From that article (with emphasis added):

    An Internal Revenue Service ruling in 1967 stripped Scientology's mother church of its tax-exempt status. A federal court ruled in 1971 that Hubbard's medical claims were bogus and that E-meter auditing could no longer be called a scientific treatment. Hubbard responded by going fully religious, seeking First Amendment protection for Scientology's strange rites. His counselors started sporting clerical collars. Chapels were built, franchises became "missions," fees became "fixed donations," and Hubbard's comic-book cosmology became "sacred scriptures."

    During the early 1970s, the IRS conducted its own auditing sessions and proved that Hubbard was skimming millions of dollars from the church, laundering the money through dummy corporations in Panama and stashing it in Swiss bank accounts. Moreover, church members stole IRS documents, filed false tax returns and harassed the agency's employees. By late 1985, with high-level defectors accusing Hubbard of having stolen as much as $200 million from the church, the IRS was seeking an indictment of Hubbard for tax fraud. Scientology members "worked day and night" shredding documents the IRS sought, according to defector Aznaran, who took part in the scheme. Hubbard, who had been in hiding for five years, died before the criminal case could be prosecuted.

    Essentially, it wasn't actually a "religion" until IRS scrutiny made that financially prudent.
  12. anoncement Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    All "non-profit" means in regards to a financial aspects of a corporation is that there are no owners (so no owners' equity) and no shareholders (so, no paid dividends). If a non-profit corporation makes more money than it spends, it's not "profit," it's "retained earnings." So called because, unlike in a normal corporation, that money can't be paid out to owners or shareholders (there aren't any), so is simply retained by the corporation.

    There are rules, though, as to what type of activity a non-profit corporation can engage in and keep that status, and as to what levels of compensation the corporation's officers can receive. Non-profit status of any such corporation can be challenged.
  13. Legione Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    i cant think of any other religion that forces you to "donate" tens of thousands of dollars. Most churches are fine if you give nothing, though, of course, donations are much appreciated.
  14. B-nonymous Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    There are actually two distinct arguments against the Co$.

    First is that they are a business providing a tangible product (tech) for a fee. As such they should not enjoy the same status as nonprofit organizations.

    Second is that Scientologists as individuals should not enjoy an additional benifit of deducting 80% of their "donations" even when they exceed the 10% of their income. This is what the current lawsuit concerning the Jewish couple is arguing.

    This would not set a precident at all since it would be a reinforcement of an existing one: You must actually be a CHURCH to enjoy a church's exempt status. If you are a business providing a tangible product (tech), calling yourself a church does not make it so.

    on a side note, I haven't bought a bible in a while...could someone confirm whether or not they paid sales tax for buying one from a bookstore or bookstore inside a mega-church?
  15. WMAnon Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    I got my first full bible the other day for free from a Jehovah's Witness. Say what you will about them, but they're still not as bad as CoS.
  16. Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Joho not bad as the CO$?

    I beg to differ.

    go to (i think it is dotcom)

    have something to puke into on hand.

    NOt as big, not as rich, but every bit as evil.
  17. Lrononymous Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Good good points. Also, scientology gets money from people outside of their " church" through WISE. Wikipedia it. Good to read up on. This is a huge part of their attempts to spread their " religious" teaching and make a profit. From lermanet . It quotes a Los Angeles Times article. An interesting part of WISE is that "Businessmen are drawn into Scientology after they have gained confidence in Hubbard's non-religious management methods. They are often told that, to achieve true business success, they should get their personal lives in order. From there, the church takes over, encouraging them to purchase spiritual enhancement courses and begin a process called "auditing."
    During auditing, a person confesses his innermost thoughts while his responses are monitored on a lie detector-type device known as the E-meter. Auditing must be purchased in 12 1/2-hour chunks, costing between $3,000 and $11,000 each, depending on where it is bought.
    Spearheading all this is an arm of the church called World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, or WISE."
    "On top of this, the consulting firms that sell Hubbard's business methods must pay WISE 13% of their annual gross income."
  18. Anonproto Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    challenge to Devil's Advocates: how does the Church's lawyer's statements not agree with the argument on the street regarding cost?

    Co$ leadership claims the cost of the materials and sessions are due to the bennefit they give: it helps you live your life better, accomplish more things, it helps the functional become more functional. But the lawyer says that IS NOT education??? :roll:

    You can't have it both ways. Either you are learning something (being educated) to the betterment of your life... or these sessions are straight-up spiritual services and you are plainly charging someone over $129,000 to be "saved"
  19. Anonproto Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    I want to highlight the above because they are superb.

    church vs business vs cult

    if you are a church you don't require over 10% of income (this is a good number to show to Christians) - so people shouldn't get deductions for giving more
    if you are a cult you ask your members to give all that they can without creeping them out, you bull them in and when they are hooked you apply pressure for more and more money

    if you are a church you council, and guide, and advise, but you do not directly offer a tangible product or higher-education - and the donations you require are do not exceed the median income per hour of service ($100-1000 per hour is wrong)
    if you are a business you have a fixed price for goods and services
  20. an()n Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    There is a big detail needs to be understood by everyone involved. The issue isn't about who should qualify for tax-exemption, it's about revoking the privilege for organizations that flagrantly abuse it. Here's the quick summary:

    CoS has created an army of smaller organizations which claim to be non-religious (but are also tax-exempt) and separate from the church (like narconon, volunteer ministers, criminon, etc). However, they freely interchange funds through foreign banking systems. The illegality of this practice cannot be overstated.

    Each "front group" has an International head office they send funds to. The International offices transfer the funds out of IRS jurisdiction and then hand it over to the International Church of Scientology accounts. The money is then embezzled back to the U.S. through small/fake transactions (e.g. "service charges" or "permit payments"). These transactions are small enough to slip past the IRS, and numerous enough to throw up a smokescreen if anyone tries to look into it.

    Learn more here: ... index.html
    possibly start here: ... ons-1.html

    The CoS abuses nearly every single benefit granted by tax exemption, even beyond money matters. It's not about any particular religious preference. Any organization acting this way should be completely dismantled. The corruption is unimaginable.
  21. Consensus Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    [half-DA - this is actually how I feel, too]
    It seems like you guys are taking one of a number of incompatible positions.

    The first position is that it *is* illegal for the COS to get tax-exempt status. To defend this position, you have to dig up the law that grants them tax exempt status, and any laws that restrict which businesses/churches/non-profits may or may not be tax exempt, and then demonstrate how the COS fails to qualify.

    The second is merely that COS 'doesn't deserve' tax exempt status. This position is less strong, as it concedes that it's not illegal for the COS to have it. Further, you have to prove it in steps:
    First, you have to prove that it would not be illegal to remove their tax exempt status. To do so, you need to dig up the laws relevent to qualifying for tax exempt status, and show that the COS in it's present form doesn't have a constitutional right to not pay taxes.
    Second, after demonstrating that it would be legal to revoke their tax exempt status, you must convince the government to do so. Keep in mind, your argument he cannot be 'you *must* revoke their tax exempt status' (as this line of reasoning does not imply that their status is itself illegal), but rather you must argue that it would be wise to revoke it.

    And finally, as an addition to either of those two arguments, you'd have to decide if your goal is to revoke tax exempt status for OTHER churches/non profits. A lot of people are involved in a lot of different churches and non-profits. If you take the view that it is illegal for the COS to be tax exempt, you may want to demonstrate that *most* non-profit organizations are legitimate, that their tax-exempt status is *not* illegal, and ought not be changed. If your argument is that their tax exempt status *is* legal (in a strict sense) but ought to be revoked anyhow (and that it would not be illegal to revoke it), the same problem applies - you'll want either to demonstrate how it *would* be illegal to revoke the tax exempt status of other non-profits, or simply that it would not make sense to revoke their status despite it making sense to revoke the CoS's.
    You can revoke the tax exempt status of the COS without this final step, but this step will put many minds at ease - minds the COS would use against us otherwise.
    [/half-DA - tiahif,t]

    You guys've done a good job in this thread. I don't know if any more dialogue is needed, but we should try to summarize which of the above positions we've arrived at, condense an argument in favor of it, and make sure we have a more thorough, elaborate argument prepared if people are skeptical of that condensed argument.
  22. Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    The first is that the CO$ does not operate as a RELIGION it operates as a corporation. But that is not the tax issue on the table.

    The issue on the table is that the CO$ and only the CO$ is getting a tax deduction via a SECRET AGREEMENT with the IRS that no other religious organization and or their members is able to take advantage of. That is the issue currently before the court in the skylr case, and ONLY that issue.
  23. sudopod Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

  24. anonymusicz Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

  25. Anonymous Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

  26. none given Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    WWP is broked and I have not been able to read anything but the OP and the two posts 4 hours younger than this one.

    anyone worried that we are an anti-religion group can simply look at the poll. we appear to be about 50% athiest/agnostic, 1/3 misc. christian. etc.

    Of course our lack of support from mainstream faiths is because of this issue.

    If this helps at all we need to focus on what is unique about CoS.

    Perhaps what needs to change is the legal definition of a religion.
  27. Swede Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    to OP:

  28. RightOn Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Is this anygood?
    " No Tax Exemptions for Commercial Activity
    Tax exemptions are almost entirely restricted to those affairs which are religious rather than commercial in nature. Thus, there are numerous tax exemptions on property owned by churches and used for religious worship, but exemptions are normally denied on property used for commerce and business. The site of an actual church will be exempt, but the site of a church-owned shoe store will rarely, if ever, be exempt. "
  29. Kilia Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Is that you, Daywatch???
  30. Budd Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    I am an evangelical, born-again Christian... and a Southern Baptist too! I am also Anonymous, and have led or participated in five protests in two different cities.
    I am fully behind everybody here, and support your work to bring the truth about Scientology to the world.
  31. ManOnYous Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    It works both ways. Why are my deepest convictions NOT considered religious? Basically, because they aren't based in fantasy. No other reason.

    Altogether, my social work and unwritten values represent a more religious faith than those spelled out in bibles. So why isn't my income tax-exempt?

    Down with all taxes.
  32. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Exactly what I thought too....
  33. moarxenu Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    I think attacking the exemption only sets a dangerous precedent depending on what approach we take, and I think there are two:

    1. This is a tax exemption that never should have been granted and should be revoked.
    2. This is a tax exemption that is being abused and should be revoked.

    I argue in David Miscavige's Perjuries: Key to Revoking Scientology's IRS Tax Exemption? #1 is the best way to go based on DM's perjuries to the IRS as reported by Larry Brennan in his affidavit and elsewhere.

    Number two raises exactly the threat Consensus' friend spoke about. Challenging abuses is basically the approach of the Sklars, Marc Headley vs CSI, and some of the suggestions here. There will be more challenges along this line.

    However, I believe that effective action on #1 will come from congressional rather than through legal action under #2, though the suits may raise tangentially the issue of the perjuries upon which the exemption is based. Headley vs CSI raises the legitimacy of Sea Org as a religious order, for example.

    Unless Anon builds support in both political parties, I fear congressional pressure will be difficult to obtain. We are a tiny voice in the tsunami of lobbying of Congress.

    The other difficulty is the Clintons. Charmed by John Travolta's celebrity, teh president had the State Dept. bring pressure on Germany about it's "religious persecution" The tax-exemption was approved under his administration. IIRC there was involvement of the White House.

    The State Dept. regularly includes sci allegations of German religious discrimination in its annual reports on religious freedom with nary a word about CoS crimes and abuses. And now Hillary is going to run it.

    With the rise of Anon CoS is getting increasingly radioactive in society, and we must convince both parties that they should have nothing to do with it - likewise the churches, some of whom are in interfaith alliances with the cult, and each sector of society WISE companies are targeting.
  34. blah Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    the catholic church does not give you an itemized bill for communion.
    selling services == for profit business == taxable.
  35. SomeRandGuy Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    ^^^ this

    The instant you are exchanging a product or service for money, it should be taxed. That's what's wrong with this situation. If Scientology offered services with a suggested donation of $2000, but you could still get the service for free if you chose to donate nothing (I wonder how long they'd last if they did this hahaha), then they shouldn't be taxed.

    I would argue that not attacking it would set an even more dangerous precedent. What stops any other corporation from just declaring themselves a religion to skip out on taxes? What any corporation would need to do is just invent some random system of beliefs and then claim that their product or service is for religious purposes.

    I should go pitch this to Microsoft.
  36. none given Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    So, is dianetic auditing "commercial activity"? I'd say yes but they call it "spiritual" .
  37. Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Using a rudimentary lie detector to detect the presence of imaginary space alien souls. Spiritual?

    And my name is John Smallberries.
  38. anmoyunos Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Wasn't done correctly.
  39. Anonymous Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    The easiest way to get folks to understand that this is a business rather than a religion is hammer away at two points:

    1. Most other religion require "fixed donations". Adherents are free to learn about and follow the religion at no cost whatsoever.

    2. No other religion gives kickbacks to their ministers (uh, salespeople). Scientology Field Service Ministers receive a 10-35% commission on the "services" they sell (er, receive fixed donations for). Can you imagine Catholic priests receiving a kickback on the number of bibles they sell?

    If you want to write to folks in power, concentrate on these differences. If you're trying to counter them in the US, point out that Scientologists receive benefits that no other religion gets. Reference the Sklar case.

    The Sklars lost because they based their argument (we should get the same treatment) on the premise that Scientologist's deductions were fine. The Ninth District Court denied their claim for good reason: the Scientology-only deduction violated the establishment clause of the constitution.

    Work that angle.
  40. Anonymous Member

    Re: DA: Attacking the tax exempt status sets dangerous precident

    Er, crap.. bad editing. The first point should have read "no other religions."

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