UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

Discussion in 'Scientology Property Tax' started by aronymous, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. aronymous Member

    UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    The new UK Government has started a "Spending Challenge" inviting UK citezans to come up with ideas to cut the deficit. Since the CoS currently don't pay value added tax in this country (Scientology tax victory could cost Revenue millions - Telegraph) I've suggested making them do so to the Govt. To get this to the governments attention it has to be one of the highest rated ideas. To do this simply create and account at- then give 5 stars to this- Make The "Church" of Scientology Pay Value Added Tax In The UK — HMT - Spending Challenge. Unfortunately it's only open to UK citezans as far as i can tell, so get rating UK anons.
  2. Sponge Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    It won't work if you suggest targetting a specific organisation, especially one that thinks it is a church of a religion. It would need to be more broadly directed at restricting non-profits in general and I don't quite know how you would propose that without creating a lot of unwarranted fall out.
    These kind of public involvment schemes tend to mean that you suggest something that can be implemented as realistic policy rather than as a personal army request.

    In any case, we don't even know the specific details of the HMRC decision on the actual granting of VAT exemption, what it extends to (e.g. full or partial exemption in what particular areas). Such information is regarded as private, between HMRC and the cult, and is exempt from being revealed under FOIA requests. We do know from other sources that it is to do with it's supplies of "educational material" but we lack the specific tax facts to make an argument. Have to look at existing HMRC VAT exemption requirments and find something wrong with those rather than who you think is gaming it.

    It might be more suitable for the mandatory and discretionary business rates reliefs thing (which RolandRB started several threads on in the Think Tank section) because it is the Treasury which collects business rates from councils and we do know more of the details of the situation with the cult in the City of London just how easy it is to game it. Tightening up this area of giving away free money from the public purse to dubious organisations could be achieved by taking the decision away from those ignorant councils who obviously lack the balls and have little or no financial incentive to be more strict about it, then work in harmony with existing charity law rather than against it.

    Also lrn2spell "citizens"
  3. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    That sounds unacceptable. Mebbe target that provision of the law as a first step toward straightening out the cult?
  4. Sponge Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Pointless exercise. Even if, in your wildest dreams, you could do it then it would do more harm than good. The provision is there to protect your privacy. That section of the law doesn't discriminate.
    HMRC Scientology tax exemption - WhatDoTheyKnow

    Also, as for trying to use public interest arguments to get round it....
    AFAIK the only people who can get anyone's tax info apart from HMRC themselves are official investigating authorities such as police fraud units, benefits agencies, serious fraud office etc., probably under warrant on reasonable suspicion of a crime.
  5. greebly Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    The statement made at the senate inquiry told you everything you need to know in regards to tax in England and Wales for COSRECI.

    <tinfoil>All the dox at location 1</tinfoil> have prolly been moved since the TV broadcast so we will leave it there unless anyone can help with the other 2 projects mentioned on ESMB and here.

    Still no reply from any exes with information re the EU court ruling since may and sausagelulz is awaiting volunteers from other countries and 1 important FOI.
  6. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Being from the other side of the pond, my interest is enough to be participating ITT (obviously) but not enough to dive deeply into your lawdox. I did look at the link and read the letters written, but only skimmed most of the TL;DR appended by the bureaucrat.

    I guess, if you're OK with the status quo (whatever it is), then it's not really my business.
  7. unex Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Better if UK journos focused on this tax scam:

    Scientology Tax Scam : XENU TV

    UK - and other countries - Co$ registered in South Australia - address is a suburban bungalow, owner has no idea why, not connected to Co$, totally fraudulent!!!
  8. Sponge Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    I'd have thought it is pretty much standard in any civilised country. You will have a US equivalent. You don't get to see somone's tax communications without damn good reason and it applies to everyone, that is all. In the Sklars vs IRS appeal, the IRS cited privacy as a reason refuse to reveal details of any special agreement they had with scientology and the Supreme court couldn't agree to order them despite huge public interest.
    If you can think of a way to specifcally exclude the scientology organisation from this protection without it affecting anyone else then let us know. Nothing springs to my mind that doesn't involve having a criminal investigation started already.
  9. Anonymous Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    The Charities Commission has proved pretty good at preventing the scilons from getting charity with the public benefits test.

    One problem is that the 2010 Finance Act allows organisations registered as a charity in another EU country to go straight to HM Revenue & Customs and apply for tax breaks, which current guidance seems to demand they be given without the need to go to the Charities Commission. The same act allows for expressed prohibitions to the contrary though.

    See part 1 of schedule 6 of said act which expressly expands the meaning of the word charity for tax purposes to include EU countries. See also part 3 which allows expressions to the contrary.

    Finance Act 2010 (c. 13)

    Perhaps an expressed prohibition to the contrary would be "religious organisations", thus making them have to register with the charities commission before getting tax breaks despite having achieved charity status in another EU country. As far as I can tell the 2010 Finance Act allows 22 alternative points of entry for the cult to get tax breaks in this country (EU + Norway + Iceland).

    Note the above applies to various tax breaks however one expects that having achieved the bulk of tax breaks via this hole in legislation the cult can then go on to achieve business rates relief too.
  10. anonymous1312 Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    OK, since I'm already namefagged to the cult, at least I was on RFW until the operators ran in to a spot of bad luck (hey they pulled it in). This might work better.

    Religious Organisations and the Finance Act 2010. — HMT - Spending Challenge
  11. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Maybe I'm just totally failing to understand what's being discussed in the first place. I was thinking that we were trying to have a look at whatever documentation the cult initially provided to the authorities to obtain tax exemption. That seems like stuff that ought to be public info, like charters or other organizational dox, mission statements, etc..

    Sorry if I'm too far behind to be of any use here.

    That's desperately in need of proofreading. I'm not even sure what you meant in one or two places.
  12. RolandRB Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    You are right in that VAT is no good. That does not hurt the cult much because VAT is charged to and passed on from the customers. It will not come out of their pockets. The thing to concentrate on in the UK is business rates relief that they get and minimum wage although the latter will be difficult to achieve. But the removal of business rates relief using the doc in my sig is achievable and will likely close them down in the UK if they have to pay it everywhere in the UK.
  13. anonymous1312 Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Ah, I see what you're saying, it kinda presumes a lot of knowledge.

    The scilons don't get charity tax breaks in UK because they are not registered as a charity here. My understanding of the Finance Act 2010 is that it allows them to qualify for tax breaks in the UK if they successfully register as a charity in any of the other 21 countries in the EU, plus Norway or Iceland. Once registered as a charity in another EU country they could then approach HM Revenue & Customs and apply and presumably get tax breaks. Obviously this is undesirable because it effectively gives them 23 chances to register as a charity under 23 different standards.

    The same legislation does however allow for expressed variations to the qualification for tax breaks using a statutory instrument, a quick change to existing legislation as allowed for in that legislation.

    I don't think the Government will get away with saying "except for the church of scientology" so rather than suggest that I recommend that all religions must qualify for charity status with the Charities Commission England & Wales to get tax breaks, which puts the scilons back to qualifying via the charities commission which won't do it because they rightly say they do not pass the benefits test here. The reasoning is that religion is an ever expanding definition which some countries may be more liberal with when it comes to granting charity status than we might be.

    My hint is that the church of scientology is not recognised as a religion in the UK so would not be covered by the "all religions" suggestion however I think that having made the change I suggest to the 2010 Finance Act it is time to recognise them as a religion, which is what they want, just not a beneficial one for the purposes of charity status and corresponding tax breaks. (sucks boo, can't have everything).

    I hope that explains things.
  14. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Ah, interesting. So:
    1. Remove delicious and moist tax benefits from religious status; key them to charitable actions instead.
    2. Give Scientology status as a (then taxable) non-charitable religion.
    3. Point and laugh.

  15. anonymous1312 Member

    Re: UK Government spending challenge- Tax the cult

    Rather than allow them to qualify as another country's charity in order to get tax breaks here, correct.

    Fact is most regular religions are already down as charities for our Charities Commission anyhow. The presumption of benefit of religion having been removed in 2006 with the formalisation of the Charities Commission etc. in the charities act.

    The point is that the Finance Act 2010 basically says that a charity registered in any other EU country (+Norway & Iceland) is entitled to tax breaks in the UK.

    As far as I can tell as long as the scilons can convince any other EU country to register them as a charity they get a foot in with our HM Revenue & Customs to qualify for all the really juicy tax breaks and unless there is some guidance to the contrary HMRC is practically obliged to grant said tax breaks.

    The Finance Act 2010 does however allow for expressed conditions contrary to this. In theory I suppose the could explicitly say we don't want the church of scientology being given tax breaks but that might give them too much cause to spout on about persecution.

    Hence my suggestion to say charities that are also religious organisation should be made to register with the charities commission and in doing so pass their benefits test before they can go to HMRC for tax breaks.

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