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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 12:18PM #1
agnon1
Posts: 161
Should  houses of worship in  the US, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish etc, be tax exempt? Why or why not?
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 12:28PM #2
teilhard
Posts: 50,674
Yes ...

"The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy ... "
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 12:55PM #3
Icelander
Posts: 872
The can only be tax exempt if I can also tax exempt my house, since that's where I am on Sunday mornings.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 1:04PM #4
tfvespasianus
Posts: 2,045
Our codes and regulations for taxation are exceedingly complex, so any informed discussion of this topic will soon devolve into assertion and speculation.

That being said, as a matter of policy, religious institutions might very well remain exempt, not because they are religious, but because they function as not-for-profit entities.  Thus, they would enjoy similar status.
Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant - Tacitus
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 1:08PM #5
teilhard
Posts: 50,674
[QUOTE=tfvespasianus;212900]Our codes and regulations for taxation are exceedingly complex, so any informed discussion of this topic will soon devolve into assertion and speculation.

That being said, as a matter of policy, religious institutions might very well remain exempt, not because they are religious, but because they function as not-for-profit entities.  Thus, they would enjoy similar status.[/QUOTE]

Except ...

"Not-for-Profit" Entities
are NOT covered -- much less, mentioned --specifically
by The First Amendment to The U. S. Constitution,
while "Religious Faith Communities"
ARE ...
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 1:32PM #6
tfvespasianus
Posts: 2,045
[QUOTE=teilhard;212916]Except ...

"Not-for-Profit" Entities
are NOT covered -- much less, mentioned --specifically
by The First Amendment to The U. S. Constitution,
while "Religious Faith Communities"
ARE ...[/QUOTE]

I think making a Constitutional argument is problematic in that the First ammendment doesn't mention taxation, and in fact, there is 'taxation' with respect to certain forms of 'speech' (e.g. companies that distribute newspapers are taxed). 

I am saying that it is easy to agree that the tax-exempt status for a religious institution can be predicated on its function as a non-profit entity.  Making an argument that, even if a church makes a profit, it can't be taxed because it is 'religious' is more difficult.

And, putting some abstruse Constitutional argument, the kind of exemption religious institutions enjoy is, as a matter of fact, similar and related to the same kind of rules governing other charitable/educational institutions found in IRC 501 (c)(3).
Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant - Tacitus
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 1:35PM #7
agnon1
Posts: 161
tfve

Where does the line between for profit and not for profit get drawn?

If  mega Churches buy large amounts of land and puts up religious-based restaurants and a health club, should that be tax exempt?
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 1:39PM #8
tfvespasianus
Posts: 2,045
[QUOTE=agnon1;212986]tfve

Where does the line between for profit and not for profit get drawn?

If  mega Churches buy large amounts of land and puts up religious-based restaurants and a health club, should that be tax exempt?[/QUOTE]

That is an activity ancillary to the exemption and is thus may be taxable under the current section of the Internal Revenue Code.

As I stated earlier, questions with respect to what the IRC actually says and not what we speculate they are are complex.  I think that one could look up exemptions with respect to 501(c)(3) at irs.gov if they found the subject interesting.
Ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant - Tacitus
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 2:11PM #9
wohali
Posts: 10,227
Except ...

"Not-for-Profit" Entities
are NOT covered -- much less, mentioned --specifically
by The First Amendment to The U. S. Constitution,
while "Religious Faith Communities"
ARE ...

The Constitution also does not mention the IRS, the Federal Reserve and foreign aid.

So?:cool:
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 2:23PM #10
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

wohali wrote:

Except ...

"Not-for-Profit" Entities
are NOT covered -- much less, mentioned --specifically
by The First Amendment to The U. S. Constitution,
while "Religious Faith Communities"
ARE ...

The Constitution also does not mention the IRS, the Federal Reserve and foreign aid.

So?:cool:



Actually, we don't have to go to the Constitution or the Tax code-English Common Law has made houses of worship tax exempt for over 400 years. Its true in the US, England and all commonwealth Nations.




This is an appropriate topic for the Church and State board. Does anyone want this thread moved over there? I am a host there as well-and we could use the traffic.

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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