Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

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no1saint
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Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by no1saint » Mon Apr 04, 2022 1:51 am

The Church is under scrutiny for dodgy tax practises that enabled members to claim tithing back as a tax deduction. The opposition parties have called for the ATO to investigate. It is an election year and this could interesting.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/morm ... 5a98p.html

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2bizE
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by 2bizE » Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:48 am

This is exactly the sneeky, sleepy stuff the church does to avoid paying taxes. I bet all of the tithing slips in Australia still say they are paying tithing rather donating to a charity. The church just sets up a shell corporation as a charity and then funnels all of the tithing to that….then the members can deduct the charity from their taxes. The biggest problem I see is that donations that can be deducted from taxes needed to be used in Australia…at least I believe that is the intent of the law. The church claims that worldwide it spends about $40 million yearly on charity, but somehow, LDS charities in Australia is spending $70 million per year. Figure that one out for the Pulitzer Prize KUTV.
~2bizE

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no1saint
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by no1saint » Mon Apr 04, 2022 11:20 pm

2bizE wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:48 am
This is exactly the sneeky, sleepy stuff the church does to avoid paying taxes. I bet all of the tithing slips in Australia still say they are paying tithing rather donating to a charity. The church just sets up a shell corporation as a charity and then funnels all of the tithing to that….then the members can deduct the charity from their taxes. The biggest problem I see is that donations that can be deducted from taxes needed to be used in Australia…at least I believe that is the intent of the law. The church claims that worldwide it spends about $40 million yearly on charity, but somehow, LDS charities in Australia is spending $70 million per year. Figure that one out for the Pulitzer Prize KUTV.
It is going to interesting if the ATO launch an official investigation. Unlike the US, the Church has zero sway here. That is the byproduct of constantly changing Area leadership. lol

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blazerb
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by blazerb » Tue Apr 05, 2022 7:20 am

The church is run by businessmen who are very aggressive in their interpretations of law. Who can forget that Russell Ballard led a company that lied to the SEC and was punished. These are the same practices they bring to church administration.

How common are investigations into churches in Australia. I believe Scientology and JW's have had their investigations on other issues.

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no1saint
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by no1saint » Tue Apr 05, 2022 8:07 am

blazerb wrote:
Tue Apr 05, 2022 7:20 am
The church is run by businessmen who are very aggressive in their interpretations of law. Who can forget that Russell Ballard led a company that lied to the SEC and was punished. These are the same practices they bring to church administration.

How common are investigations into churches in Australia. I believe Scientology and JW's have had their investigations on other issues.
Not often, the constitution is robust in its defence of religious practise. This issue is unusual as it falls outside the normal tax free status religions enjoy. Australia has rigid regulations on what religious donations qualify for tax deductions for adherents. This obvious and systematic rort is designed to circumvent the reasonable rule that 70% of charitable works must be completed in Australia.

What I would love to see is that the Church as part of an official investigation provide evidence of local charitable spending and projects. I hope that some local wavering Mormons see and understand the disgraceful figures locally and globally that the Church spends on charitable works in comparison to its enormous real estate and investment portfolios. I hope this breaks some peoples shelves.

New Zealand handed down a recent ruling that missionary contributions are not tax deductible.

Zeezrom
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by Zeezrom » Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:11 pm

Spent some time as a financial clerk and that was when I first learned that all tithing money collected in Canada went directly to Salt Lake. At least that’s what I was told. Seemed reasonable to me since that was where HQ was.

Shortly before leaving the church I discovered through the magic of the internet that what actually happened was that to skirt Canadian Tax Law all tithing and offerings collected in Canada were donated to BYU.

I’m no international tax accountant but that just seemed too fishy a way to me for the “Lord’s One True Church” to behave.

If Jesus is real and still aware of what’s going on in the world today I would think he would tell TSCC to “keep my name out of your f**king mouth!” and b*tch slap old Rusty a la Fresh Prince :lol:

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue Apr 05, 2022 4:24 pm

Zeezrom wrote:
Tue Apr 05, 2022 1:11 pm
Spent some time as a financial clerk and that was when I first learned that all tithing money collected in Canada went directly to Salt Lake. At least that’s what I was told. Seemed reasonable to me since that was where HQ was.
As a Canadian parent with kids who went to CES schools, I'm actually rather glad that at least my money went to keep my kids' tuition down a tad!

All joking aside, I'm sure there are a number of shady dealings going on to defeat the international tax man, and was very unsurprised that this story came out of Australia. They are very good at making and growing their cash, and not giving it away to anybody.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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moksha
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by moksha » Tue Apr 05, 2022 5:30 pm

It seems clear to me that the Church has skirted the spirit of the Australian and Canadian tax laws. However, I suspect the Church can escape any penalty via strategically placed donations to the proper Authorities. This action would likely fall within the rubric of the Lying for the Lord Doctrine, as so annotated at Kirton McConkie.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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no1saint
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by no1saint » Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:38 am

moksha wrote:
Tue Apr 05, 2022 5:30 pm
It seems clear to me that the Church has skirted the spirit of the Australian and Canadian tax laws. However, I suspect the Church can escape any penalty via strategically placed donations to the proper Authorities. This action would likely fall within the rubric of the Lying for the Lord Doctrine, as so annotated at Kirton McConkie.
If the federal election goes the way it should, the opposition party will win government and they have publicly announced they want an enquiry into it. In addition to that, minor parities who could have the balance of power in the senate, or at least hold valuable votes in the upper house that could sway legislation getting through with the right amendments have also demanded an enquiry.

Interestingly the Church is yet to officially respond.

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moksha
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by moksha » Wed Apr 06, 2022 7:33 am

no1saint wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:38 am
Interestingly the Church is yet to officially respond.
I imagine they are busy figuring out the most strategic placing of donations and calculating the minimum expenditure needed to be effective.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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no1saint
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Re: Dodgy Australian tax dealings by the Church

Post by no1saint » Wed Apr 06, 2022 8:28 am

moksha wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 7:33 am
no1saint wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:38 am
Interestingly the Church is yet to officially respond.
I imagine they are busy figuring out the most strategic placing of donations and calculating the minimum expenditure needed to be effective.
They are in a difficult position as any official ATO investigation would be retrospective.

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