ANSWERS: 31
  • are they required to report how they make and spend their money? are they required to report anything?
  • No I dont agree, some of them are struggling as it is....MY church has to make some improvements like a new roof...We are collecting funds for that...I disagree...Leave the money with God...
  • Why people DR for genuine questions or someones opinion is beyond me... I think we need to maintain separation of state. Religion for many is their only refuge in this crazy world and serves so many beneficial purposes. People work hard and are taxed to no end so I would argue to leave it alone. Let religion be that one place where people can feel secure in their own beliefs and not be further burdened by taxing their desire to spend their already taxed dollars on their spiritual beliefs.
  • I agree as well. I have never understood why organized religion, huge "business" that it is, should be tax-exempt...expecially those religions groups whose members worship in hugely expensive cathedrals, mosques, whatever. If you can afford to spend millions of dollars on where you worship you surely can afford to pay your fair share of taxes on that income provided to you by your parishioners/members. :)
  • Vast quantitities of money pass through religious institutions on a daily basis. It's criminal that this money is untaxed and there's no real justification for it either.
  • No. But I do think there needs to be an accounting. Because such is ripe for abuse. Namely, I cannot start a 'church' for the purposes of avoiding taxes, I'd like to see just how many folks are honestly trying to run a church, and how many are laundering money.
  • Treat them like any other .org. If they fail to meet the conditions of their 501c(3), they should lose it, and have to pay taxes like any other for profit entity.
  • I agree. The 3 monotheistic religions are pampered way too much, I do military funeral services so I go to a lot of churches, one church had their ideal amount of donations that they think people should be giving, it was as high as the thousands, and people were actually giving thousands of dollars to this church, I don't even have to explain why this is total BS. If I took a large sum of money out of an annuity, or investment, I'd have to pay taxes on it, do I have to be religious just to get a break as well? It's obvious half of these religious people are just 'playing the game' and probably don't even truly believe in god.
  • Absolutely. Why should they get a free ride? I'm betting that the taxation of churches would provide more than enough money to pay for universal health care and fix the economy.
  • I disagree for the same reason that non-profits are not taxed. Namely, there are no profits. Churches have no shareholders who receive dividends. - Do they collect too much money? Some do I suppose. But they can hardly exploit anyone who chooses not to give, nor reject them as members.
  • I'm not such a fan of churches. But they do often fund a lot of worthy causes from youth baseball to blood drives. Perhaps they collect too many donations but they often go to worthy causes even if not always and that is the choice of donors. I could be better informed but I believe my arguments valid, so this is an atheist that rather dislikes Christianity ad religion in general to an extent saying no, I don't really think they should be taxed if they don't rally profit. If you could argue they do then yes, taxes should be placed where appropriate.
  • Agreed!
  • I don't understand the deference the churches(all religions) get. If I started telling people that I was collecting money for unicorns, not only would I have to pay taxes, but I'd be involuntarily committed. Churches are no different, but are allowed to operate outside any real regulations. Even non-profits have to show money in vs. money out. Churches? Nope. Non-profits allowed to openly campaign against a proposition or law? No. Churches? Sure why not. Either get rid of those standards for non-profits, or enforce them on churches. But to leave the houses of "god" free reign to do whatever they like? That's not only wrong, it's stupid as well.
  • Even if you do not consider religion a 'business' it is only common natural justice that Capital Gains Tax must be paid by anyone making a Capital Gain. I see no need for exemption to religious institutions where captial gains are concerned. After all its money made due to market forces in play and not by any effort on their own. As for filing their Income Tax returns that too must be made compulsory. Deductions may be allowed for permitted charitable work done by them but they must pay their taxes at whatever concessional rates that may be fixed for them. A blanket tax waiver will not be in accordance with the pursuit natural justice. . This is the practice in India. But those managing the funds of the religious institutions find ways to avoid the taxes same as some individuals do. Thats inevitable human behavior where paying out money as taxes is concerned.
  • Sure, as long as you are willing to pick up the tab on all the charitable work they do. If you look at TV preachers, I could see where you get that idea. Come look at the rest of us. Look at my preachers eleven year old car with well over 100,000 miles on it. Their second car is nearly as old and nearly as high mileage. Those are all they have with five drivers in the house and three kids in college. Their house is no palace either. Our second pastor just finally got a newer used car. Both of their cars were over 15 years old. Now they have one that is 4 or 5 years old. We did manage to pay off our building in a year, but it is a forty year old building and very small. We are close to outgrowing it already. Meantime, we are supporting our parent diocese in Africa. We have helped, with several other churches, to complete, stock and staff the hospital which they had begun and couldn't finish. We support, with several other churches, the boarding school they have for AIDS orphans and other abandoned children. We send out seventy shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child every year. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ We provide holiday dinners for 30-40 needy families in our county every year. We help, with several other churches, to run a clothing bank for the neediest families every year, and we take turns staffing it. We help to serve meals at the Salvation Army. We help to staff kettles for the Salvation Army so that the homeless might be fed. We provide meals for the families of patients at the Children's Hospital so that they won't go hungry, like they often do, while their child is in the hospital. Meantime, church run charities have the lowest administrative costs of any charity. The biggest portion of the donated dollar actually gets to the intended recipient of any charity. As for churches not having the same standards of any other non-profit, I don't know what church you are looking at, but our treasurer just reported our finances to the entire congregation last Sunday, and announced that he is getting an independent audit, just to make sure that everything is being done correctly. It could be that some churches don't have enough money to report. If you manage to raise enough protest that churches are forced to pay taxes, then we will render unto Caesar that which is Caesars. And we will try to keep up with our other obligations as well. But inevitably, short of a miracle (which is always a possibility) your proposal will cause suffering. Other organizations may do good work, but they eat up a lot of every donated dollar in administrative costs. It isn't as if the Red Cross hasn't had its share of embezzlement either. So unless you are willing to pick up the tab and get over into Africa and start building hospitals yourself, or start feeding the hungry yourself, or start making sure poor kids have clothes yourself, maybe you'd best leave well enough alone.
  • No religious person considers their faith a business transaction. Contributions from church members are donations based on their beliefs. It doesn't matter if you like or dislike it, it is a fundamental right of worship.
  • I disagree, but I completely understand your viewpoint. I guess one thing that you would have to further explain is whether we're talking regular businesses here or non-for-profit businesses.
  • There have already been several good answers, on both sides of this issue. My view is that religious entities should be required to submit financial records to determine whether they are properly operating under "not for profit" guidelines. Churches that properly funnel their income into charity or mission concerns should not be penalized. Ministries whose leaders drive Rolls Royce cars, or have gold bathroom fixtures and air-conditioned dog houses, should lose their nfp status.
  • Of course they are businesses...faith based businesses but businesses none the less. Now, many religious organizations are receiving tax dollars for their so-called charitable work they ought to be giving as well as receiving. They operate amusement parks, conduct classes and coaching both for free and for payment in a variety of areas not related to religion, involve themselves in social and political issues, advise members about voting finance and family planning, support candidates for office, own and operate financing operations, property and for profit businesses...on and on...of course they should pay taxes. It would sure take a giant bite out of the deficit haha Render Caesar....oh never mind.
  • Yes I think the churches should be paying taxes on the income. People believe that all of that money goes to charitable efforts but that is not the case. For instance, how many people know how much the catholic church paid out in settlements to keep peodophile priests out of prison, or how much prime real estate in the city of new york they own(the church owns land in most states btw). They didn't have the money to do that because they were doing charitable works. Churches are corrupt, they are involved in politics(what happened to separation of church and state?) Hey if people can see the point of throwing money to preacher wearing a rolex, more power to them but chip in a little more next time because it's time the tax man pays a visit.
  • I agree wholeheartedly.
  • I agree. They can deduct their charitable expenses.
  • Well, atheists certainly don't know everything about churches, do they! The only business of churches is to aid is saving mens souls. On the other side of the coin, let's say that athiesm is a church of no religion, and require that they pay taxes, too. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
  • The Catholic church, and any other, needs to be taxed. They have had a free rein for too long!
  • I agree. They should be required to pay taxes. They send thousands to help foreign missionaries and others but in most churches they would let their own members starve to death (MOST). Sorry but it has been a LOT more than saving souls for many years. They expect our money and make us feel bad for not giving but they take our money, bank it, earn interest and NEVER pay a dime in taxes.
  • I agree, but will 'the faithful' (majority) ever acknowledge and allow that secular characterization? ;-)
  • As hard as the Scientologists worked to get declared a religion so they could hide their assets and you guys want to screw that up for them. LOL :-)
  • I completely agree.
  • Absolutely agree. If they have nothing to hide, then what's the issue?
  • I agree with you Mensan. I don't see why these organizations can evade paying taxes like the rest of us.
  • Agreed

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy