1. Maryland
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    24 Jan '13 19:23
    Why should religious organizations be given tax exemptions? They use services. Why should they get them for free? Some religious organizations are extremely wealthy. They should pay their fair share. It could reduce our deficit. Churches and the ministry should not be given a free ride!
  2. Territories Unknown
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    24 Jan '13 19:39
    Originally posted by 667joe
    Why should religious organizations be given tax exemptions? They use services. Why should they get them for free? Some religious organizations are extremely wealthy. They should pay their fair share. It could reduce our deficit. Churches and the ministry should not be given a free ride!
    It's mostly from long-standing tradition.

    The country was founded (not the government, but the country) on the core idea that religious expression would be fostered (i.e., no more state-run churches).
    Today, we view religion as an also-ran: a by-product of the freedoms secured via military on the same plane as speech, bearing arms, peaceful assembly and etc..
    However, those who came here from other countries were adamant that the "perfect union" we sought to create be first and foremost true to our basest charter: God first.
    Should we continue in the same vein?
    Hard to say anymore, with churches offering little more than entertainment...
  3. Joined
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    24 Jan '13 19:45
    Originally posted by 667joe
    Why should religious organizations be given tax exemptions? They use services. Why should they get them for free? Some religious organizations are extremely wealthy. They should pay their fair share. It could reduce our deficit. Churches and the ministry should not be given a free ride!
    The reason is that churches are regarded as charities, and charities get tax breaks in many/most western societies.

    The problem being that they are not in fact charities.

    I personally think that they should get tax breaks on their charitable activities (which could in certain circumstances
    include the upkeep of the church building) and not on anything else.

    So if a church raises money for (for example) disaster aid for a famine in Africa, then they should get the tax relief on
    that.
    They shouldn't get tax relief on money that goes to pay the wages of the priests/vicars/ect who run and administer the
    church. Or on things like buying religious equipment like bibles ect.

    They should not be thought of as charities in their entirety. Just organisations that do on occasions do some charitable work.


    I suspect however that while I agree completely that the churches should not get tax breaks for anything other than their
    charity work (and I would put caveats on that as well)... Removing this exemption would do little to ease your countries deficit...

    What might make a noticeable difference is stopping outspending the combined military budgets of Russia, China, UK, France,
    Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Korea, Australia, and Canada... As well as stop paying subsidies to oil
    companies because of their lack of profit and all.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/files/2013/01/defense_spending.gif

    http://qz.com/41205/does-chuck-hagels-nomination-mean-obama-is-ready-to-take-on-americas-biggest-threat/
  4. Standard memberRJHinds
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    25 Jan '13 07:031 edit
    Originally posted by 667joe
    Why should religious organizations be given tax exemptions? They use services. Why should they get them for free? Some religious organizations are extremely wealthy. They should pay their fair share. It could reduce our deficit. Churches and the ministry should not be given a free ride!
    The churches have to pay their utility bills just like any other business. The churches are considered non-profit organizations or charities like the Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Smithsonian Institute, Public Broadcasting Service, ACLU, Boy Scouts, Humane Society, Public library, Special olympics, Heart Association, Goodwill, and many others. They do not get anymore tax benefits than any of those organizations.
  5. Standard memberKellyJay
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    25 Jan '13 07:32
    Originally posted by 667joe
    Why should religious organizations be given tax exemptions? They use services. Why should they get them for free? Some religious organizations are extremely wealthy. They should pay their fair share. It could reduce our deficit. Churches and the ministry should not be given a free ride!
    Why should man believe he can tax God?

    Kelly
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    25 Jan '13 09:009 edits
    We seem to have the same debate in the GF. So here is the response I posted there. Robbie was making the point that churches get tax reliefs because they do charitable works, which is not true in the UK.

    The post only related to tax relief given to individuals on religious donations. However I believe the same approach is taken on the tax exemptions that apply to the income the Church receives.

    -------previous post in GF--------

    In the UK, the charitable donations tax relief is not dependent on the church doing charitable works.

    To qualify for relief, the organisation must be formed exclusively for the purpose of various specified activities. One of these is for the 'advancement of religion'. So a church can spend all its money on itself and still be subsidised by the taxpayer.

    I am not against churches getting tax relief per se, but it should be conditional on this money being used exclusively for the other listed charitable activities and not for the promotion of that religion. The 'advancement of religion' should be removed from the list of specified activities.

    Do you agree?
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    25 Jan '13 09:14
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Why should man believe he can tax God?

    Kelly
    Well, he should be OK where estate tax is concerned.

    Tax dodger.

    🙂
  8. Standard memberRJHinds
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    25 Jan '13 09:52
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Well, he should be OK where estate tax is concerned.

    Tax dodger.

    🙂
    God owns everything. Why shouldn't we give taxes to God? He is only asking for 10%.
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    25 Jan '13 10:231 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    We seem to have the same debate in the GF. So here is the response I posted there. Robbie was making the point that churches get tax reliefs because they do charitable works, which is not true in the UK.

    The post only related to tax relief given to individuals on religious donations. However I believe the same approach is taken on the tax exempti ement of religion' should be removed from the list of specified activities.

    Do you agree?
    here was my reply.

    One must however be a registered charity and it therefore begs the question how one attains the status without doing charitable works. It appears to me , that like any scheme it may be open to abuse. I don't see why the advancement of religion should be removed if indeed the advancement of that religious conviction is to bring benefit to the recipients in some tangible way. Does it provide education, counselling, guidance etc etc etc and indeed, if one is getting benefit in some way, as does happens, through the advancement of a religion then why should it be exempt. Surely this is the whole point of adopting a particular religious stance in the first instance in that it bestows benefits not only on the adherent but on others as well? Of course a case may be made against those that are purely self serving, but to remove the clause entirely is somewhat Draconian and it appears to me that a focus should be made on the charitable works themselves as being a legitimising factor as to whether one should receive tax relief or not. So no I do not agree. I still stand be my stance that religious organisations and especially religious ministers should be self sufficient, it irks me immensely that the most basic spiritual guidance should be subject to a fee in some form or another.
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    25 Jan '13 10:28
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    God owns everything. Why shouldn't we give taxes to God? He is only asking for 10%.
    I respect your right to believe in your god but I wish to spend my earnings on my own beliefs (which includes charity).
  11. Joined
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    25 Jan '13 10:57
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    here was my reply.

    One must however be a registered charity and it therefore begs the question how one attains the status without doing charitable works. It appears to me , that like any scheme it may be open to abuse. I don't see why the advancement of religion should be removed if indeed the advancement of that religious conviction is to bring b ...[text shortened]... sely that the most basic spiritual guidance should be subject to a fee in some form or another.
    I think you make some great points.But most Charities declare what that help is for,religious organisations tend not to be specific and decide themselves where that help should go.Do you not think that this creates grey area in which abuse can occur.
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    25 Jan '13 11:00
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Well, he should be OK where estate tax is concerned.

    Tax dodger.

    🙂
    Hmm, so God creates the planet we live on, gives us the ground we walk on, the
    food we eat, and so on, and we think He owes us taxes?
    Kelly
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
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    25 Jan '13 11:02
    Originally posted by OdBod
    I respect your right to believe in your god but I wish to spend my earnings on my own beliefs (which includes charity).
    We are talking about taxes not charity, you get to choose where your charity goes
    we do not get much of a choice if any where our taxes go.
    Kelly
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    25 Jan '13 11:112 edits
    Originally posted by OdBod
    I think you make some great points.But most Charities declare what that help is for,religious organisations tend not to be specific and decide themselves where that help should go.Do you not think that this creates grey area in which abuse can occur.
    Yes their work should be made much more transparent. It is my understanding however that all charities in the UK, including those that are religiously affiliated must publicly produce a statements of accounts from which , if they are a true and accurate portrayal, one should be able to discern where the money actually goes and in what proportions. Yes, undoubtedly abuse will occur.
  15. Account suspended
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    25 Jan '13 11:211 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    We seem to have the same debate in the GF. So here is the response I posted there. Robbie was making the point that churches get tax reliefs because they do charitable works, which is not true in the UK.

    The post only related to tax relief given to individuals on religious donations. However I believe the same approach is taken on the tax exempti ement of religion' should be removed from the list of specified activities.

    Do you agree?
    In the UK, the charitable donations tax relief is not dependent on the church doing charitable works - Rank Outsider

    I don't think this is an accurate portrayal, in order to qualify as a registered charity and to receive tax relief as a consequence, is it not the case that a registered charity must demonstrate public benefit?

    http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/Accounting_and_reporting/Preparing_annual_reports/Demonstrating_public_benefit_index.aspx#1
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