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Should Churches Be Taxed?

should churches be taxed? Churches, as nonprofit organizations, are exempt from taxes not because of the public benefits that churches provide, although that is also a reason for exemption. Rather, it is their very existence as non-profit entities that justifies church tax exemption. Taxation naturally applies to profit-makers, the generators of revenue upon which government depends. In his book, Why Churches Should Not Pay Taxes, Dean Kelley makes a powerful argument. He states, “Other entities, which are not in the wealth producing category to begin with [such as churches], do not need to explain why they are not taxed any more than do the birds of the air or the rivers that flow to the sea. .[Taxation] would be pointless, since they are not in any meaningful sense producers of wealth.”

In fact, taxing such nonprofits discourages their existence and amounts to double taxation. All citizens, whether or not involved in a church or other nonprofit, are taxed on their individual incomes. As Kelley notes again, “To tax them again for participation in voluntary organizations from which they derive no monetary gain would be ‘double taxation’ indeed, and would effectively serve to discourage them from devoting time, money, and energy to organizations which contribute to the up building of the fabric of democracy.” There are many more reasons why churches should not pay taxes, but just these few demonstrate that the Kansas legislature should never let this bill see the light of day. Church Software Demos are taking a poll to find out what American’s think about the taxation of churches and other religious organizations. If you would like to learn more about how the IRS deals with churches, you can access the IRS Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations here http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

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