T Nation

Taxing of Church

Is this fair or no?

“The change - once it is formally drafted and approved by Parliament - could result in revenues of $650 million to $2.6 billion annually, according to municipal government associations. It could also set an example for other European countries that are struggling with debt - notably Greece and Spain - and where there is growing popular resentment over tax breaks for the church.”

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

Is this fair or no?

“The change - once it is formally drafted and approved by Parliament - could result in revenues of $650 million to $2.6 billion annually, according to municipal government associations. It could also set an example for other European countries that are struggling with debt - notably Greece and Spain - and where there is growing popular resentment over tax breaks for the church.”[/quote]

I don’t get it. Why isn’t this fair?

All it will do is take money from church charities and give it to the government to be squandered.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

Is this fair or no?

“The change - once it is formally drafted and approved by Parliament - could result in revenues of $650 million to $2.6 billion annually, according to municipal government associations. It could also set an example for other European countries that are struggling with debt - notably Greece and Spain - and where there is growing popular resentment over tax breaks for the church.”[/quote]

I don’t get it. Why isn’t this fair? [/quote]

Personally, I am of the opinion that if you make money (either through rent, sales, etc.) that you should pay taxes. I am surprised it has gone so long without it.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
All it will do is take money from church charities and give it to the government to be squandered.[/quote]

The question could be asked (and I don’t know the answer) is it being squandered through the charities.

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

Is this fair or no?

“The change - once it is formally drafted and approved by Parliament - could result in revenues of $650 million to $2.6 billion annually, according to municipal government associations. It could also set an example for other European countries that are struggling with debt - notably Greece and Spain - and where there is growing popular resentment over tax breaks for the church.”[/quote]

I don’t get it. Why isn’t this fair? [/quote]

Personally, I am of the opinion that if you make money (either through rent, sales, etc.) that you should pay taxes. I am surprised it has gone so long without it.[/quote]

I actually agree with eliminating tax exempt status for moral/religious reasoning, though I disagree with taxing a corporation like it’s a person to begin with.

But remember, that would include eliminating tax exempt status for anything on moral basis. That means all charities, in addition to things like tax exempt status on electric cars and all subsidies, grants, welfare, est.

How is this compared to the United States?

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
All it will do is take money from church charities and give it to the government to be squandered.[/quote]

The question could be asked (and I don’t know the answer) is it being squandered through the charities.[/quote]

Generally churches are very efficient. My church, when it takes up a cause, uses existing structure and volunteers which reduces overhead to almost 0. Where the government, with a program like welfare, runs something like 70% overhead. Meaning 70% of every dollar goes into the bureaucracy, not even accounting to all the fraud of the end user.

No organization squanders money like a government.

[quote]sufiandy wrote:
How is this compared to the United States?[/quote]

You get huge tax breaks when donating to churches as an individual person or a corporation. This creates a hyoooge incentive.

Up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is deductible for cash donations to churches.

Up to 30% of your AGI is deductible for property donated.

-from a CPA in training.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]sufiandy wrote:
How is this compared to the United States?[/quote]

You get huge tax breaks when donating to churches as an individual person or a corporation. This creates a hyoooge incentive.

Up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is deductible for cash donations to churches.

Up to 30% of your AGI is deductible for property donated. [/quote]

I think you mean charity…

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]sufiandy wrote:
How is this compared to the United States?[/quote]

You get huge tax breaks when donating to churches as an individual person or a corporation. This creates a hyoooge incentive.

Up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is deductible for cash donations to churches.

Up to 30% of your AGI is deductible for property donated. [/quote]

I think you mean charity…[/quote]

Yes that’s also applicable to donations to charities, but they lump churches into that as well.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

Is this fair or no?

“The change - once it is formally drafted and approved by Parliament - could result in revenues of $650 million to $2.6 billion annually, according to municipal government associations. It could also set an example for other European countries that are struggling with debt - notably Greece and Spain - and where there is growing popular resentment over tax breaks for the church.”[/quote]

I don’t get it. Why isn’t this fair? [/quote]

Personally, I am of the opinion that if you make money (either through rent, sales, etc.) that you should pay taxes. I am surprised it has gone so long without it.[/quote]

I actually agree with eliminating tax exempt status for moral/religious reasoning, though I disagree with taxing a corporation like it’s a person to begin with.

But remember, that would include eliminating tax exempt status for anything on moral basis. That means all charities, in addition to things like tax exempt status on electric cars and all subsidies, grants, welfare, est.[/quote]

I would be with you if they were taxing donations and the like, but apparently the church in Italy rents some of their property to businesses and is engaged in other commercial transactions.

The proposed taxes are on commercial activities of the church, which makes sense in that light. No property or rental tax to pay on rental property is definitely unfair for regular property owners as the church would be able to undercut them due to no property tax and no revenue taxes.

Horrible idea. That “wall” between church and state exists as much to protect the church from the state as the state from the church. The power to tax is the power to destroy, never forget, and no sane person should believe that any taxation of a church would remain even-handed as a plain-vanilla revenue raiser.

Having now run out of cash from plundering the private sector, European bureaucrats have apparently identified a new target.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Horrible idea. That “wall” between church and state exists as much to protect the church from the state as the state from the church. The power to tax is the power to destroy, never forget, and no sane person should believe that any taxation of a church would remain even-handed as a plain-vanilla revenue raiser.

Having now run out of cash from plundering the private sector, European bureaucrats have apparently identified a new target.[/quote]

There is no wall. Granting tax exempt status is the same logically as increasing taxes on everything else. Everyone should be taxed the same regardless of religious or moral affiliation, that is the only way to avoid preferential treatment.

Maybe commercial properties…but not the Church or it’s charitable affiliates.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

There is no wall.[/quote]

Yes, there is.

No, everyone (or thing) should not be taxed the same, because they aren’t the same, and different things should be treated differently.

Churches get preferential treatment precisely because they are different, they hold a special place in our culture - and we decided long ago that we dare not open the possibility that the government can start dictating to churches, for the reason I mentioned above - there’s no conceivable way the government policy would ever be even-handed among churches, and that would send us down the road to sectarian strife.

Which is why I also do not like tax dollars being taken by churches to carry on charitable enterprises either. Charity should be charity, not public welfare in charitable garb.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

There is no wall.[/quote]

Yes, there is.

No, everyone (or thing) should not be taxed the same, because they aren’t the same, and different things should be treated differently.

Churches get preferential treatment precisely because they are different, they hold a special place in our culture - and we decided long ago that we dare not open the possibility that the government can start dictating to churches, for the reason I mentioned above - there’s no conceivable way the government policy would ever be even-handed among churches, and that would send us down the road to sectarian strife.[/quote]

Tax exemption is as much government control as additional taxation.

There just needs to be a clear definition of a church and a church business without any loopholes. If church businesses were except every private company would find a way to make it part of their church/religion so they didn’t have to pay taxes.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

Tax exemption is as much government control as additional taxation.[/quote]

This makes no sense.