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Tax laws are more complicated than the average person can readily understand; tossing into the mix various things tax-exempt organizations might or might not be allowed to do threatens to make the task of understanding superhuman in nature. In reality, however, the issue isn't all that complicated and the restrictions on what churches and religious organizations can do aren't hard to adhere to.


Read Article: Religious Tax Exemptions: Overview of Current Laws

August 31, 2007 at 3:33 pm
(1) Forrest says:

Austin states in item #4 “Tax exemptions are almost entirely restricted to those affairs which are religious rather than commercial in nature.”

This may be somewhat misleading. Tax exemptions are also granted for educational, civic, and philanthrophic organizations. These organizations are similarly prohibited from endorsing candidates or political parties and from trying to influence specific legislation. It is much easier to obtain tax-exempt status as an educational organization than as a religious organization or “church”. I’ve researched this in the course of deciding whether to start a secular humanist group of my own in my hometown. I had decided to go with “educational” instead of “religious” because the filing requirements were much less stringent, but personal time constraints kept me from even starting the group in the first place.

Perhaps some day in the future.

August 31, 2007 at 3:50 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

Tax exemptions are also granted for educational, civic, and philanthrophic organizations.

True, but the title of the article is Religious Tax Exemptions and the subject is the sort of tax exemptions available to religious entities like churches.

September 1, 2007 at 9:21 am
(3) Forrest says:

The clarification is apt, Austin. Thank you.

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