If the United States’ IRS Acted Like Its Canadian Equivalent, Would the Mormon Church Be Paying Taxes?

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Is this your future? “A Calgary church has lost its charitable status in part because it spends too much of its time advocating on social issues such as abortion and marriage. In October, the Kings Glory Fellowship Association, a non-denominational Protestant group, was told by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that for several reasons, including a lack of clarity on how it spends it money, they could no longer issue charitable receipts. But the letter highlighted that the group spent more than 10% of its time on ‘non-partisan political activities and therefore strayed into activities outside its stated purpose.’ ‘We note … the members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative vies about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc.’ The CRA allows charitable organizations to spend some time on ‘political activities,’ but the cutoff is 10%. A spokesman for the CRA was not immediately available to explain how the percentage of time a group spends on non-charitable works is determined.” [National Post]

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  • romeo

    We already have laws here in the States restricting political activity by churches that get exemptions, but the laws have been largely ignored. Don’t ever forget that your tax dollars go to offset the lost tax revenue from lawless churches. Along with all the other civil rights we are denied, we’re expected to pay for our own public lynching.

  • Josh_Texas

    We need to start a campaign Romeo. We need to demand the IRS stops religions from playing politics.

  • Sammi

    But, churches are exempt from property taxes here in Canada, and they tend to be some of the largest land owners anywhere in this country.

    What happens? They complain when governments, especially municipal governments, cut back services; if they could get tax revenue from church property, then they wouldn’t have to cut back as much, if any.

  • rf

    I would be interested in knowing if the documents read in the prop 8 case would be enough proof to show the churches involvement in politics. Or at least to get the IRS really investigating.

  • AndrewW

    We should seriously consider making complaints here in the U.S. The IRS won’t do anything without complaints. Let’s start with Mormons.

  • J. Clarence

    Well, Queerty, is it a matter of our tax agency simply giving churches a break or the fact that we don’t have laws that mandate political involvement by a religious/charitable organization can only constitute 10% of its time and resources?

    Even if we had similar laws, I doubt the Mormon Church put 10% of its time and resources into Prop 8.

    I think most certainly one can question the ethics of the Mormon church and many other churches, but I think suggesting that it was illegal and the IRS needs to strip away their tax-exempt status is a bit much. Especially because it seems they have every legal right to do so.

    One thing we need to get over is this idea that religious organizations have no place in our politics. Historically we know that is not the case, i.e. the Civil Rights Movement, the abolishment movement, etc. It just happens in this situation we generally are on opposing sides.

    Also, doesn’t any one else find it awesome that in addition to going after the usual suspects like abortion and we gay folk, this group went after breeders who got divorces? That’s a level of consistency we can all appreciate.

  • Cam

    The IRS will go after small people or individual organizations, but they won’t go up against anybody that they think could put up a fight. Just like the SEC. They went after hundreds of small individuals, but they had been told numerous times over a decade that Bernie Maddof was a criminal and they never even bothered to examine him. If the Mormon church continues it’s activities and continues lying about them the IRS may have no choice but to bow to pressure to investigate, but they would have to be involved in at least one more Prop 8 style debacle for that to happen I’m guessing.

Comments are closed.