Apr 5, 2019 in Speech

Tax Obligations of American Churches

Price Calculator
 
Currency:

Outline

Introduction

  • Problem: Tax obligations of American churches
  • Area of focus: the conditions that allow receiving tax exceptions for churches

Thesis statement

The US churches should be required to pay taxes unless they qualify as a nonprofit organization.

Major Point 1

Churches have a long history of tax exceptions.

  • Minor point 1: It may be traced back to several thousand years ago. Such practices were present in the Roman Empire, Sumeria, and Babylon (cite sources).
  • Minor point 2: These practices became widespread in the United States after the Constitutional “separation of church and state” (cite sources).

Major Point 2:

The legal process of acquiring the tax-exempt status should be objective and precise.

  • Minor point 1: Churches should meet the requirements of IRC section 501(c)(3) (cite sources)
  • Minor point 2: The public licensing for tax-exempt organizations is needed.

Major point 3:

If churches meet all legal requirements, they should be granted the tax-exempt status.

  • Minor point 1: It will be beneficial to churches as they may possess a higher financial independence.
  • Minor point 2: It will also be beneficial to society in general because religious people have stronger redistribution preferences than secular individuals (cite sources).

Conclusion

Restatement of thesis: In order to receive the tax-exempt status, all US churches should meet the necessary requirements and pass the specific procedures. When they qualify as nonprofit organizations, they should be free not to pay taxes.

As the US government needs the source of revenue for fulfilling its social functions, the US churches may have tax obligations in some cases. It is necessary to specify the conditions that allow receiving tax exemptions for churches. The ultimate consequences of the existing procedures for churches and society in general, will be clarified. The US churches should be required to pay taxes unless they qualify as a nonprofit organization.

Churches have a long history of tax exemptions. It may be traced back to several thousand years ago. Such practices were present in the Roman Empire, Sumeria, and Babylon (Livingston, 2008). It demonstrates the high role of churches for people’s well-being and even for the existence of states in many cases. These practices became widespread in the United States after the Constitutional “separation of church and state” (Livingston, 2008). This separation was established in order to guarantee churches’ independence and limit the power of the federal government. It was considered that churches should not have any financial and tax obligations in relation to any government agencies.

As the situation is different nowadays, the legal process of acquiring the tax-exempt status should be objective and precise. The operations of churches should not contradict the existing legal system in the country. Churches should meet the requirements of IRC section 501(c)(3) (IRS, 2013). They outline the necessary and sufficient conditions for obtaining this status. There is a special procedure for applying for the tax-free status. In particular, all organizations should have an employer identification number and fill the application form. The public licensing for tax-free organizations is needed. It allows controlling all the organizations and their operations.

If churches meet all legal requirements, they should be granted the tax-exempt status. It will provide them with the necessary guarantees and create the favorable conditions for their long-term performance. It seems that granting this status to those churches that verify as nonprofit organizations will contribute to balancing the interests of all the involved parties. First, it will be beneficial to churches as they may possess a higher financial independence. They will be able to realize numerous long-term projects that will useful to many other people. It will also be beneficial to society in general, because religious people have stronger redistribution preferences than secular individuals (Huber & Stanig, 2011). It means that they will make voluntary contributions that may substantially exceed the amount of potential taxes.

It may be concluded that the issues related to tax exemptions should be strictly specified from a legal perspective. In order to receive the tax-free status, all US churches should meet the necessary requirements and pass the specific procedures. When they qualify as nonprofit organizations, they should be free not to pay taxes. It will have positive consequences both for churches and the rest of the society.

Related essays