Churches should pay taxes?

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/16/the-yearly-cost-of-religious-tax-exemptions-71000000000/

I thought this might be an interesting topic, should religious organizations pay taxes? I am kind of torn on this one.

On one hand, you have the church's and chairtys based out of church's that actually do lots of good, and I do understand that.

On the other hand, you have many of these organizations with owners or pastors living in mansions. That bring in millions of dollars. Donate to political causes, ( that right there should mean they pay taxes ),

I am unsure of where to stand on it.

Perhaps a good fix would be to audit religious organizations, and figure out which ones are actually charities and eligible for the non profit status, and figure out which ones are just powerhouse profit centers for their owners. Televangelists and Mega-church's come to mind. The Catholic church would be a toughie.

The reason I say this, is because there is a large " Mega Church ", that is near my hometown, I will not mention its name. But I just noticed it last time I went home to visit, some of my old friends told me how great it was ( I am a huge atheist by the way ), but to shut them up, I went.

The membership is something like 35,000ish. You go into this place, there is a Starbucks style cafe, big rock show, they bring in tons of money, dont do any charible work.

" Pastor " has 3 Lexus's, a mansion, summer house on the gulf, and a jet.

And he pays no taxes!

Talk about takers ;)
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Yes, tax them like any other business because that's all they are. Money spent for charitable purposes can be deducted like everyone else.

Joel Osteen takes in over half a million in donations on a weekend and doesn't pay a dime in taxes. I'd like to see someone defend that.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
What taxes in particular do you think they should pay?
Income taxes on all of the money they fleece from their congregants, because all they're doing is selling a product.

If they spend their money on charitable purposes, they can claim a deduction if they have adequate proof, just like everyone else.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,059
Criminal Mexi Midget
Yes, tax them like any other business because that's all they are. Money spent for charitable purposes can be deducted like everyone else.

Joel Osteen takes in over half a million in donations on a weekend and doesn't pay a dime in taxes. I'd like to see someone defend that.
money was already taxed, should beggars on the street pay taxes on donations received?

I should be free to give away my money that was already taxed when I earned it as I see fit.

----------

Income taxes on all of the money they fleece from their congregants, because all they're doing is selling a product.

If they spend their money on charitable purposes, they can claim a deduction if they have adequate proof, just like everyone else.
what product is being sold? :confused::confused:
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
money was already taxed, should beggars on the street pay taxes on donations received?

I should be free to give away my money that was already taxed when I earned it as I see fit.
If I buy an iPad with my money (that was already taxed), Apple has to pay taxes on their profit from the iPad sale, even though that money was already taxed.

The beggar on the street isn't making enough money to even owe taxes at the end of the year. If a church only brings in $3,000 in yearly donations, they shouldn't have to pay taxes either. If they're bringing in millions, then they should pay taxes just like anyone else.

what product is being sold? :confused::confused:
False hope. To quote the great George Carlin, religion is the biggest bull **** story ever told.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Income taxes on all of the money they fleece from their congregants, because all they're doing is selling a product.

If they spend their money on charitable purposes, they can claim a deduction if they have adequate proof, just like everyone else.
The pastor pays taxes on his/her salary. Now granted the don't pay property taxes but that is a local issue. I imagine some larger churches have positive incomes but most of your average churches spend everything they take in.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,105
2,164
IOKWARDI
What taxes in particular do you think they should pay?
How about property taxes? And how about open books, so that everyone can see what they own and where their money goes. If this here downtown parking lot belongs to a church that pisses me off, I would rather walk five blocks than let them have my dollar.
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,262
7,298
money was already taxed, should beggars on the street pay taxes on donations received?

I should be free to give away my money that was already taxed when I earned it as I see fit.

----------



what product is being sold? :confused::confused:
I'm sure the Government would be putting beggars on the "tax" list if they could quantify how much money they make per year. Of course, I doubt many beggars make enough to actually have to pay income tax, but whatever.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
The beggar on the street isn't making enough money to even owe taxes at the end of the year. If a church only brings in $3,000 in yearly donations, they shouldn't have to pay taxes either. If they're bringing in millions, then they should pay taxes just like anyone else.
You underestimate the wages of a good beggar.

False hope.
You got that one right.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,059
Criminal Mexi Midget
A service: providing warm fuzzies.

If you go see a Fortune Teller or Medium or Psychic or whatever, I assume you have to pay tax on said transaction, right?
If I buy an iPad with my money (that was already taxed), Apple has to pay taxes on their profit from the iPad sale, even though that money was already taxed.

The beggar on the street isn't making enough money to even owe taxes at the end of the year. If a church only brings in $3,000 in yearly donations, they shouldn't have to pay taxes either. If they're bringing in millions, then they should pay taxes just like anyone else.


False hope. To quote the great George Carlin, religion is the biggest bull **** story ever told.
so BOTH of you would support paying taxes on political donations?
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,262
7,298
The pastor pays taxes on his/her salary. Now granted the don't pay property taxes but that is a local issue. I imagine some larger churches have positive incomes but most of your average churches spend everything they take in.
I would like to see some evidence on that assertion that churches are spending all their money.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,369
394
New Orleans
If they influence the judgement on our politicians, then yes. I believe they should pay taxes. It seems like the want to keep the state out of religion but no problem having religion affect the state.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
Yes they should. The Mormon churches would be a good example of a church making plenty of cash ;)
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,262
7,298
That would take a lot of work. I'm sure the mega churches are making money but I've seen a rash of churches closing and merging in the past few years due to money problems.
That likely comes from there being far too many churches in some areas. I live in a town of about 6.6k people and we have about 12 or so churches.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,050
A service: providing warm fuzzies.

If you go see a Fortune Teller or Medium or Psychic or whatever, I assume you have to pay tax on said transaction, right?
Services and labor are generally not taxed. E.g. a mechanic. If you need a new waterpump.

$100 in parts + tax
$120 in labor, no tax