Religion and tax.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Xelasnave.1947, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I am under the impression in the USA religions do not pay tax.
    Is that correct and if so why. Given many religions have large incomes would it notbe reasonable tohave them pay tax.
    Alex
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Churches don't pay taxes. They were seen as a public good at one time.
     
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    There is a long standing tradition that taxing churches could break down the separation of church and state.

    For example, if a poor church failed to pay it's property taxes and it's church was seized for back taxes, would we not then violate the separation of church and state?
     
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I would not think so.. different lawyers for state and church... no problem.
    Alex
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    In that case, no, unless the government deliberately increased taxes on that church in order to run them out of town.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    That's bs. poor people are not taxed, because they have no money. Businesses that lost money are not taxed. Taxes are pegged to income. So a poor church would not be taxed.

    The exemption wasn't for the protection of little congregations or minor denominations. It was for the big, rich, landowning Catholic and Anglican corporations.
    Their claim was that their charitable enterprises took up the slack in human services in which the state was remiss: looking after the old, the orphans, the delinquent boys and wayward girls. The state let them keep all the tithes they could squeeze out of the faithful and look the other way, if they made a little more on the side, selling babies and using their teenaged mothers as cheap labour in the laundries. One capitalist hand washes another. It's been a hugely profitable racket for both sides.
     
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Is thecurch of scientology taxed? I think they are actually anti charity.
    Alex
     
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. - https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-p...-purposes-internal-revenue-code-section-501c3
    Are there any other of these that you'd object to? Or just religion because you're not religious?
     
  12. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you for that i formation.
    I dont like guiding by tax exception generally.
    I believe income should be taxed and would rather government distribute to those who are needy but that would be in a perfect world.
    Also I dont see why religion deserves a better deal than say a farmer and I suppose myview tur s somewhat on the fact I am not religious.
    Alex
     
  13. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    I seem to recall that they had a good old knees up when they obtained tax free status

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  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    And now, everybody who doesn't want to pay tax starts a religion or a "foundation". Some of each are genuine and many are bogus.

    It makes sense that a charitable organization that collects money, not to make more money but to spend it on earthquake victims or abused donkeys, should not have to pay tax on what people give freely for those specific charities, and with no expectation of monetary gain.

    But if a church- or foundation, for that matter - turns its unearned collection to profitable ends, those should be taxed exactly like any other monetary venture.
    I see no rationale whatever for a corporate entity, just because it calls itself religious, to be exempt from corporate tax.

    If I recall, Scientology was invented for that very purpose: L. Ron wasn't making enough money with his boring sf novels.
     
  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps make all subject to taxation and include money outlaid for charity work as a deduction.
    I imagine the religious lobby would be impossible to beat but it does not seem fair that a particular group should escape contributing to the public purse.
    Alex
     
  16. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure why anyone would prefer coerced government charity to voluntary.
    Farmers do get subsidies.
     
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    In a perfect world I would like to think government would be more efficient.
    Charitable donations get a bit of a nibble before they reach their client.
    I recall replying to an add to collectfor charity. I was promised 30% of what I collected. I could not help but think the organiser would take at least that much before the funds reached the client.
    That experience colors my view.
    Government is seen as inefficient but it does not have to be that way.
    Alex
     
  18. Nacho Registered Senior Member

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    I don't mind having foundations/entities that don't have to pay taxes, but I sure want them to be local entities. It appears to me that national non-taxable foundations have a big-big advantage not having to pay taxes, much like big corporations are able to staff up with lawyers and accountants and avoid taxes.

    Now, the other side of that -- I don't like people getting tax deductions for charitable deductions. Also personal deductions rip my butt too. Like deductions for mortgage interest or deductions for children or worse than that a tax credit for having children. That makes me basically paying for other people's lifestyle and for them to have their herd of children. How tacky! Over population is our greatest threat (it drives other things like global warming, deforestation, hunger) and I'm having to pay for it.

    < rant off >
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Gets the job done better for less money.
     
  20. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Charity means to provide help for those in need

    Government is supposed to provide the services for ALL which people cannot provide for themselves as individuals

    Also Government should provide as the phrase goes ' a level playing field '

    This supposedly provides equal opportunity for everyone

    Of course this is patiently impossible

    In the example of the farmer the subsidy is a small attempt to level part of the playing field to counter any disadvantage faced by the farmer

    Subsidy is not charity

    As I mentioned elsewhere charity should be to provide small luxuries (ie non essential) to persons (ie a TV for lonely person)

    Unfortunately charities have become the providers of essential requirements

    If Government provided sufficient essentials charities would be able to provide the small luxuries

    In my view this would increase the good feelings towards charity

    Keeping people alive with charity is viewed as something you should do

    IMPROVING somebody's life with charity is not essential

    Hence to me is viewed as nicer

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  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Poor people still pay property tax.
     
  22. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    That is likely overly idealistic. Public employees working for a paycheck (where there aren't typically such motivators as merit raises), rather that volunteers working for a cause or even motivated private employees, will inevitably incumber any process in inefficiency. Even if individual public employees do genuinely care, governmental overhead cannot compete against the private sector. Just no incentive.
    LOL! Charity's should only "provide small luxuries"? It's clear this redefinition is only a justification for government dependence.
    You're not talking government in general, you're talking communism, e.g. "give to your ability and take from your need".
     
  23. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Nooooo

    I did not say Govenment should provide small luxuries

    If you look at the post can you see

    ' If Government provided sufficient essentials

    charities would be able to provide the small luxuries '

    Government providing essentials is the role of the Govenment

    Charities role should be to improve on the quality of peoples lives

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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017

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